I’m doing the final rewrite on my next novel, after receiving notes from my publisher. Notes are effectively the publisher’s thoughts on what’s needed to make it better. I’m grateful to have such an experienced publisher as Alex Craig offer her thoughts on my novel. The key issue is one relating to characterisation (which, naturally, seems blindingly obvious in retrospect) and now I am back in the pages and working hard. I’m loving this stage of the process; the novel is almost there and I’m just finessing things. I have four weeks until I must send it back for the copy edit.

This novel involved lots of research. I revisited my days as a journalist, asking questions of many very generous people with experience in the law and policing and medicine and child protection. I have had moments in every one of the interviews when I wondered if I should have pursued one of those professions instead. They are such interesting jobs, so valuable to society. And then it occurred to me that years and years of hard study might be involved not to mention mammoth working weeks and more than a bit of trauma, and that's when I blessed my job sitting in my garden studio, writing stories. The only stress I have is juggling motherhood and writing, and that (relatively) small stress will be greatly eased this year because my sweetie starts Big School. So excitement.