When I was child, I used to write down my New Year's resolutions each year on the 1st of January. They were always variations on the same themes: to keep my room tidy, to be nicer to my annoying little sister... When I became an adult, I kept up the habit for a few years, then I gave up. The main reason I gave up was that, for year after year, I found myself making the same resolution: to finish my novel. It got to the point where there wasn't really any point in writing it down. I could just unfold the same scrappy piece of paper from the previous year. Starting a novel was never the problem — I have loads of beginnings that will never, and should never, see the light of day. It's often easy to write the first quarter of a book in a rush of enthusiasm, then you reach the point where it starts to get tricky... I am told that "to write a novel" is the second most common New Year's resolution (the first being "to lose weight"). That was one of the reasons that I wrote A Novel in a Year
. I loved the idea of catching all those people who were at the beginning of a book and at the beginning of a year.