I've been celebrating a birthday this week (no, I'm not saying how old).
I had a splendid time, culminating in a surprise visit from my wonderful daughter, Niamh, who came back from university to say hello.
But it got me thinking that, however pleasant the day was, there's another birthday which now means more to me.
I suppose it's a writer's official birthday, just like the Queen.
I'm thinking about my first publication day.
It was for The Death Pictures, back in 2008, Feb 25th in fact (yes, of course I still remember), which now makes me almost 8 years old as a writer.
Why has that date come to mean more than my birth day birthday?
Simple - because of all it's brought to my life.
Aside from that amazing rush of joy, that all the work you put in has been recognised, and your novel is actually being published...
There's everything that has followed.
From the other six books (so far), to the play which was based on the first in the tvdetective series, the pantomime I've just penned, the teaching, the short stories, the literary festivals and libraries I've visited to talk about my writing, the people I've met...
It's been a journey of wonder, as simple as that.
So here's to a writer's official birthday, all that it means for us, and don't forget to send your congratulations, (and, more importantly, gifts!) on February 25th.