I haven't answered a question for ages and a good one has descended upon my inbox, so I thought I'd give it a go.

It's this - how do you cope with a full time job, and writing novels too, not to mention the other teaching and careers work?

Having given it some thought, I'd say the problem is not the answer but the question. I think I get on better because I have another job and lots of other interests.

I have a boredom threshold so low it could be a champion limbo dancer. And if there's one thing in life I really can't bear, it's being bored.

I rate time as our greatest asset - you never know how much you have - and I very much don't want to waste it.

So, I like to have plenty on to distract me, and that means lots of projects at any one time. At the moment, it's ideas for a new book (for children, since you ask), some teaching in October, and editing of the next novel in the tvdetective series.

Yes it's a fair bit to think about, but it keeps my mind switching and that seems somehow to refresh it and make it more inclined to produce some passable thoughts.

So - who said men can't multi-task?!

On the subject of variety, I came upon this lovely photo from last year, one of the publicity shots for my play, An Unnecessary Murder.

Simon play elephant.jpg

(the elephant is the Hospiscare mascot, the wonderful charity we were raising money for - does he look a little concerned at his new friend to you?)

So, as I was saying, it's not a bad thing to have lots on, far from it. The only issue is trying to make sure you do it reasonably well... but that's another story.