Writing means many things to me, but last week, for the first time, I had a sense of what a remarkably unifying force it can be.
On reflection, I should have expected it. When you come to think about it, we're all taught how to read and write from such an age that it means it's ingrained. But I think now I appreciate just how deep that feeling runs.
I had the pleasure of teaching creative writing for an afternoon at Plympton Library, after doing a book talk there (this is me in full flow.)
(How kind of the audience to look interested - at least that's how it seems in this view from the back!)
Anyway, as I was saying, about the unifying force. To start the teaching session we did a few quick introductions, and it was remarkable the range of people who'd toddled along.
There was a barrister, a university science professor, a teacher and an actor, amongst others. All come to learn about the art of writing a novel.
Which was, if I'm honest, a rather intimidating start to a course - all these clever and talented people, and me, something of a hitchhiker on the big writing road, trying to sound as though I know what I'm doing.
Anyway, all went well; the group was sparky, smart and good enough to say the course was worthwhile, and I had a fine time. I enjoy these sessions as much as the people who come along, and sometimes, I suspect, more.
And it left that wonderful thought, about another of the great powers of writing and reading - how they bring us together.
Whether it's wanting to actually write the books, or just read them - look around you on the train, the plane, the beach on your hols - so many different people with their different books, but all brought together by the simple joy of words.
I've said it before and I shall say it again - writing is such an amazing journey, of both discovery and self-discovery.
There are a few more events planned to support the publication of Shadows of Justice, including one at South Brent on Thursday.
Details are on the News and Events page, if you're interested in coming along -http://www.thetvdetective.com/news.html