I remember a teacher once telling me I had an eclectic taste in books. Which is true. As a reader, I am a genre-free zone. My ‘taste’ is for stories that engross me, and move me, and keep me up till four, and make me laugh and make me cry and leave me changed. If a story can do that I don’t mind a bit where it’s come from, much less who wrote it, or what audience it’s marketed for. That said, my first ambition as an author was different. I saw a pastel-coloured montage; a row of book spines, all similar, stretching along the shelf at Waterstones, each unique, yes, but all of a mind, so to speak. That’s a Lynne Barrett-Lee, the hopeful inner voice told me. Unmistakable. That’s what she does.

Didn’t quite work out that way, as you can see.