Do you have any idea what the secret of your success is?

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I write a lot about people being somehow restored in life and sometimes people wonder if I write this from personal experience. I suppose I have always thought it was a bit pretentious to have a ‘philosophy of life ‘ but if I were pushed I would mutter about how we only get one life and it’s short and in the end it will be what we made it to be. There are no fairy stories. And there are no simple solutions. Being wealthy doesn’t necessarily make you happy, nor being beautiful or thin or married. We have heard all this before but always have a sneaking feeling that for us it just might work! It doesn’t, there are no guarantees.

But there are guarantees of happiness if we have an open optimistic mind, if we treat our friends and families very well, if we refuse to think we have been painted into some corner. If we realise that it’s up to us to find good in people and places and times and that we can live the life we choose then we could be very happy. I don’t know how to say this to people so I tell the characters in my books instead.

We can change the course of our own lives, and it is much easier if we know there are those who help us when we fall. There is no law that says we must stay doing the same thing for decade after decade if we have the courage to take that first step out of a rut. We are not better people if we stay in the rut; we are often worse people duller, more depressed and having little to offer to anyone else.