Och, ma heed. I over-indulged last night.

However, at the start of the night I met friends, and was sat at a table with a 7 year old and his parents. Once he found out I was a writer he asked me loads of perceptive questions about writing, characters, story ideas, settings, what it was like being stuck on an island writing Turner, why do people read sad stories, and so on. Kids often seem to like me, and to be honest, it's fun being interrogated about a subject you love.

At the end he asked how long it takes to write a novel.

“Well, for a 70,000 words, maybe it could take two years. A year of research, gathering ideas, plotting and so on; then a year of writing and rewriting.”

“Why does it take you so long?” he asked, looking shocked. “I think of an idea in about five minutes; then spend another few minutes writing it down. Then if you just go to a quiet place like a library and work hard, you should have it finished within a week. Two years is just lazy.”

“I have no answer to that,” I said, shamed.

Maybe I'll try his method and write 52 novels next year. We'll see.