I suggested a tailor-made advent calendar, filled with foil wrapped Belgian chocolates (Strawberry Cremes... mmmm) in the shape of books, but Carlos - dear, business minded, careful Carlos was the one who insisted it be a blog. He's got the practical head on him - the creative aspect is down to me. We're a partnership. He's the use, and I'm the ornament. What that makes my puppy Sherlock I don't know, except a darling baby, and the three of us a kind of family, I suppose.
I digress. It's a fault of mine, I admit it. Modesty is another of my faults - Carlos has just reminded me to point you in this direction.
First thing this morning Carlos hauled me out of the bath, practically prised the glass out of my hand and before I'd had chance to dress or apply unguent, forced me to my computer to compose this little missive to you, my faithful and devoted reader. Or readers, because if my sales so far have been anything to go by, there are a veritable multitude of you out there.
'Do you know what day it is?' he said, deeply (you've to imagine him here, with a vaguely European accent, but nothing unintelligible - his picture is here).
'Yes, I do know what bloody day it is, Carlos. It's a bloody Monday, and I was about to begin the depilatory process, thank you very much.'
'Tomorrow you pluck,' he said, offering me a fresh towel, 'but today, my darling, you blog.'
So here it is - the little blog. As if I don't ruin enough nail polish typing my more literary offerings. I'll be writing here throughout this month as a kind of online, virtual countdown to the publication of my third semi-autobiographical novel: Pink as Chocolate. Review copies have been sent out, rather last minute this time, I think, and we're awaiting the response. Rumour has it that one or two readers in the upper echelons of the publishing world were most impressed with my surprising departure in tone.
I remember one phone call in particular.
'Adorna,' the man said, and from the sound of his voice I was almost certain he was on his home treadmill. Terrible for making you sweat, those things are.
'Adorna, sweetheart, is that you?' he said.
'Yes, Bob,' I said, 'spit it out. I've got book four to write, and Richard and Judy aren't going to interview themselves.'
'But Adorna,' he said, still breathless - and I realise then, so suddenly I have to put my glass very gently down on the coffee table, being careful neither to chip the glass nor scratch the chrome, that he isn't on his treadmill at all, but overtaken with a sort of emotion I could only describe as ecstasy itself.
'Adorna,' he goes on, 'this is a masterpiece! The way you've melded together high and low art, love and crime, profundity, erotica and the thrill of the chase! there isn't a reader in the world this isn't going to appeal to, and if we can get Judi Dench in we'll have it down as an audio book before Christmas and get all the non-readers too.'
I was, as you can assume, slightly taken aback my all of this, and motioned to Carlos to fetch me my ice pack and cigarette holder.
'Lovely of you to say so, Bob,' I reply, once I've regained my composure. I can hear him on the other end, still panting like a sex maniac, 'but the most important thing is,' I interrupt him, before he can get going again (honestly, I thought he was going to weep, he was so overtaken) 'is it going to sell?'
'Sell? Sell?' He says, spluttering, and I click my fingers for Carlos, worrying about the old man's heart. He takes a deep breath though, and settles down, 'sell? It's a classic. A masterpiece. Of course it's going to sell! That's what I meant!'
With that, I do a little whoop to myself, and hop off back into the bath, where the water has cooled sufficiently for me to use my new rose-petal bath bomb, a present from the kind folks over at Foyles.