Well, the Awards ceremony was indeed a glittering affair at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, on Friday night, and as usual, whenever I am lucky enough to be shortlisted for an award, I always arrive a nervous wreck…probably even more nervous than usual this time as it was such a prestigious award, AUTHOR OF THE YEAR, and I was up against some massive talent, in the forms of Robert Harris, Lee Child and Ian Rankin.

Well… I’m happy to report that all the time I spent practising my happy loser smile was not wasted! After the entire nation saw me scowling back in 2007 which I lost out by just five votes to Ian Rankin for the Richard and Judy Crime Thriller Of The Year Award, I decided I should at least look like a good sport. So when – as I had predicted – Ian Rankin won, at least I smiled graciously! As one of my heroes, the late, great, curmudgeonly actor, W C Fields famously said, “Start every day with a smile and get it over with.”

But on a serious note, thank you all so much for the numerous emails of support you sent me. Having such lovely readers as you means more to me than any prize I could ever win.