I am startled to discover that my new book already has an amazon page. Yes, Picture Me Gone, will be published on March 7, 2013, in hardback, and will set you back £12.99.

The reason I'm startled is that I'm still a teensy bit dubious about one of the subplots, my editor hasn't read the final version, and I haven't spoken to anyone about the pictures in the text (does the fact that no one's mentioned them mean it's a subject no one wants to broach?)

(To be fair, the reason my editor hasn't read the final version is that I just sent it to her ten minutes ago.)

Picture Me Gone was a pleasure to write. It flowed along, it answered its own mysteries in its own time; it built up slowly, layer by layer, with each draft. If only every book had such a happy journey.

I did worry slightly when the mystery surrounding the main character hadn't been solved six months into the writing. But I held my nerve and he told me eventually why he'd done what he did -- and I was pleased to discover that it wasn't the reason I'd expected.

Someone once told me the story of a writer who lost her entire book when her computer crashed (back-up now, fellow scribes). When her editor said, "But surely you can just write it again," she replied, "No, I couldn't possibly. I know how it's going to end."

It's the discovery that makes the process of writing so interesting and satisfying. The words the characters speak, the reasons they give for their actions, the controversial choices they make (I wouldn't do that, I tell them. Bugger off, they reply).

The element of surprise.

For instance, the rather peculiar thing that happened tonight when I changed the spacing of my title.