Five months ago I realised Covid wasn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Mainly because our beloved leader and his cabinet of All-the-Untalented were showing every sign of world-beating incompetence. We never stood a chance of avoiding the second wave, let’s be honest.

As it turns out – how can I state this modestly? – I was right. So I needed a distraction, and I found one.

Now, after five months of spending every afternoon Mon-Fri buried in my virus-free hillside writing cabin, I have emerged having finished my RomanoBritish mystery novel Governor’s Man: The Bronze Owl. Hopefully it will be the first of a series that people will like.

The word “finished” is of course light touch. So far the first draft has gone off to valiant beta readers for initial impressions, and even more nervously to my gallant editor Gemma Taylor at Oakleaf Editing, she who must be obeyed.

In the meantime, I’m off to walk the well-ventilated and hopefully virus-free beaches of Devon for a week, with my long-suffering dog and that man who brings flasks of tea uphill to the cabin. And to play ludus latrunculi.

Of which, more later in the book …

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