I had a really strange dream a couple of nights ago. I don't know how it began, like most dreams the action seemed to have started some time  before I became aware of it. I was evidently involved in a promotional event for Discord's Apprentice resembling a village fĂȘte or town show. However, I was not giving a talk or being interviewed. I scrambled into a barrel mounted on a stand like a cannon or a cement mixer next to a stall, which could have been a tombola. (I put it down to watching a television programme involving a visit to a vineyard and antiques.) I don't think I was going to be fired from it, or that I was going to be a raffle prize, but I will never know, because as I was looking up at a circle of sky, someone came running up, shouting 'Guess what!' I tried to tell them I was busy, but they insisted that I go with them.
    "The Pope's bought your book!" they said, dragging me with them to the high street where, outside a newsagent, was a board with the latest headlines: 'Pope Buys Book'. I was overjoyed. This is it, I thought, I've made it. Now, I'll sell millions of copies and I'll never have to market my books again.
    Then, of course, I woke up and realised how ridiculous it was. I have no idea whether the Pope likes reading fantasy novels, but I somehow doubt it, and whether his custom would make Discord's Apprentice an instant besteller is also dubious. Shame. But then, I am a writer of fiction.