…and calling myself a writer. Which I’ve never actually done – not until this week, that is.

I was at the hairdresser’s, assuming the usual position – head tipped back, towel round my shoulders – and we’d done the weather and the holiday chat, when I was asked if I had a day off work.

‘Well, sort of,’ I volunteered. ‘I work from home, so I’m sort of skiving, I suppose,’ (skiving quite a lot, actually,considering I was planning a nice lunch with a friend afterwards instead of attacking my weekly word target).

‘Oh, that must be nice.  So what do you do?’

Gulp. The words ‘I’m a writer’ took hesitant form and hovered somewhere round my vocal chords.  It seemed a bit, well, big-headed, really, to say it out loud, without being able to point to a string of published novels and the odd TV mini-series as evidence. But I’ve had success in short story competitions, sold one to Radio 4, and currently have a contract with Orion for ‘Shadow Man’, the first book in my planned series of crime novels set in my home town.  And let’s face it, what else was I going to tell her?

So I did it.  Plucked up courage and said the words – the words which, if I’m honest, I’d always hoped but never really dreamed I’d be able to say one day.  And the sky did not fall in, nor was I met with screams of disbelieving laughter, just a request for a signed copy when the book comes out!

And though it felt unbelievably weird, like putting on a badge of office I really haven’t earned yet…it still felt kind of good.