A dismally wet weekend here in the UK was transformed by fantastic news from my editor, Jackie, at Berkley in the States. It had me doing a Gene Kelly tap routine down Torquay High Street - umbrella and puddles included.
The Russian Concubine has hit the New York Times (extended) bestseller list. Admittedly it's not yet in the Top Twenty (a hallowed position to achieve), but still well and truly there at # 34. This is every author's dream. Christmas come early.
I have printed out a copy of it and pinned it to the wall above my computer to urge me ever onwards and upwards. I know that on days when I sit at my desk in front of a blank page and wonder what on earth is going to fill the word-quota today, the sight of The List will keep me going.
The enthusiasm of readers for the book has had a profound impact on me and drives me on to want to fulfil my side of the bargain with my new book - to provide a story that touches the heart, that entertains, yet raises questions and informs. Now I am working on the sequel to The Russian Concubine and I feel pressure to satisfy each and every reader who enjoyed the original. Sometimes that pressure freezes the pen in my hand. But at others it kicks in with such force that the words flow like last weekend's rain. That's a good place to be.
So is # 34 on the New York Times bestseller list.