Not Mr S. He’s still very much here. Rather I’m at that strange moment when the novel is ceasing to be mine and ownership is transferring to readers. During the writing process Juliet Montague, Leonard, Freida, Mr and Mrs Greene, Charlie et al were mine alone. It’s an intimate and precious time but I don’t write just for myself, nerve-wracking as it is, I want my stories to be read and that means the book must be handed over to readers. At that moment, the characters aren’t mine any more, they exist in the imagination of each and every reader in hundreds and hopefully thousands of guises. There’s no longer one Juliet but a multitude. It’s exhilarating and terrifying and wonderful.

I shall sip a cold glass of something and watch the gliders and birds and the odd balloon over bulbarrow to calm myself.

balloon over Bulbarrow