It’s hard being a writer. For a start, in most fields of human endeavour, the competition comes from other people doing the same thing, other painters, singers, footballers, politicians, what have you. Very few people, having become successful and well known in another field, then suddenly have an exhibition of landscapes, or play for Arsenal, or even stand for parliament – a few, perhaps, but not many. But it seems to me that every single person who becomes well-known for anything at all – acting, athletics, armed robbery, reality TV, whatever – immediately writes a novel. And has it published, since they are famous. And if it’s moderately readable, and they have fans, it sells, and they write another. And if the poor bloody writer does manage to get a book published and it sells, no-one invites them to record an album, or play Hamlet, or run the country. They’re just expected to write another book, and it’s got to sell better than the first one.

It’s a hard life, I tell you.