When I worked in theatre the maid’s part would usually be played by a young actress or actor eager to be on stage; so eager that often he or she would steal a scene. In story telling, the same thing can happen if a character is introduced too late. The maid comes on like a shining star and upsets the whole balance of the book.

I’m now five chapters from the end, even though I’ve written three chapters since my last blog. I feel like a marathon runner, exhausted. I can see the end – and it is still five chapters away.