Happily, inspiration is never a problem. I keep a notebook of story ideas, into which I’m always scribbling new scenes, characters, plots and twists. Now I have over 30 great story ideas, each a miniature empty balloon, awaiting the inflating breath of life.

With such a rich supply of raw material, I always have a story or two in progress. But I like to write slowly; it gives me the opportunity to elaborate and polish each tale, and introduce a level of detail that makes each story unpredictable, ambiguous, and enjoyable to read again and again.

Being a busy professional, the most difficult challenge is simply finding time to write. Sometimes I write when I travel. Sometimes I look down the train carriage at a constellation of glinting screens. All those Kindles, ipads, phones and laptops. I look to see if anyone else is writing, there’s a faint click of key presses, but it’s the slow tapping of a report being edited, not the rapid frantic flow of a story being spun. Most seem to be reading. I wonder if they’re reading naughty words, hiding their secret with a carefully angled silvery screen, trying not to blush at descriptions of dungeons, floggings and a dozen more delicious taboos. Wishing they were home already…

Sometimes a story makes you wait.