I set up a successful business in the late 1990s – with my partner at the time - delivering organic fruit and veg to people in Surrey. I spent much of my time standing in a freezing cold shed packing boxes with only Radio Two for company, and once I opened a box of bananas and a tropical spider ran out. But I loved it and I still look back on that time with huge affection.

Catherine Ferguson

Catherine Ferguson

I wanted to be a writer from the age of nine after I read Enid Blyton’s ‘The Secret Island’. I used to write mystery stories in my bedroom and my lovely dad would read them and correct the spelling. But as it turned out, I was 55 before I landed my first book deal!

My first job was sub-editor on teenage magazine ‘Patches’, baby sister to the famous ‘Jackie’ magazine. It was all hugely exciting for a girl in her twenties, what with all the freebie make-up samples, fashion, music and meeting pop stars. For some reason, it always sticks in my mind that we had Captain Sensible’s dressing-gown in the office for ages as a competition prize!

I hate housework with a passion and would always leave it for as long as possible, feel crucified with guilt then finally give in and fly at it with gritted teeth. That was until I realised I could pay my son to do it. (Why didn’t I think of that sooner?)

I thought I would never be a mother. Then I had one course of IVF at the grand old age of 41 and my son, now 16, was the result. I feel so incredibly lucky!

The first book I wrote was based on my adventures setting up the organic veg delivery business. I loved my working title, which was ‘Getting Fresh’ (see what I did there). But even I have to admit that the eventual title chosen by the publisher was so much better. ‘Green Beans & Summer Dreams’ has so far sold over 30,000 ebook copies!

I’ve always been short-sighted and had laser treatment on one eye back in the early 1990s when the treatment was still fairly new. I decided not to have the other eye done so that if there were any sinister after-effects that no-one yet knew about, I’d still have one good eye left!

I’m totally addicted to the new wave of Scandinavian and European dramas on our TV screens these days. It’s one of my favourite ways to recharge my batteries after a writing session.

Laura Ashley is keeping me fit and healthy! I recently started a little cleaning job at my local branch, working early mornings – and it’s revolutionised my life. I haven’t been so fit in a long time, and I’m back home at my desk to write by 9.30am. So instead of shelling out for gym membership, I actually get paid to do my work-outs!

I wish my dad had lived to enjoy my writing success. He always had total belief that one day, I’d make it as an author. I always raise a glass to him on publication day.