This month I seem to have done very little apart from editing the current work-in-progress. My original vague idea of finishing by the end of February was clearly far too optimistic, given how busy January and February always are in our family. However, since the beginning of March I’ve had my head down, beavering away at what I suppose I might call Edit Number 3. I think it will probably need just one more thorough edit, but a slow, careful one. I still don’t have a title. Sometimes a title comes at the outset, as it did with The Testament of Mariam. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and thought. My second published novel was called from the beginning (for me) The Paparuda. It’s the name of a ritual to bring on rain in times of drought, which used to be practised in eastern Europe, involving poppies, the pouring of water and a gypsy girl. My editor at Random House, however, thought that was too obscure, so I had to settle for The Travellers – in my opinion much less striking. The central theme of the book is the way the lives of the main characters, who have endured emotional drought, are restored once more, as the dry countryside blooms again after rain, so I felt The Paparuda was much more appropriate. I did at least get the gypsy and the poppies on the cover, using a painting from the local art gallery, which – by an astonishing coincidence – appears to make reference to the Paparuda.