I'd never be where I am if more successful writers hadn't taken an interest in me and done me a good turn - be it chiming in with constructive criticism or giving me sound advice about my career plan.
How lucky am I? Quite often I speak at book festivals, and people ask me how I got published. There's people who have been working on a book for as long as ten years, and I feel like such a cow.
My identity has always been confused. Born in Edinburgh of a Scottish/Russian/Jewish mother and an English/Irish/Catholic father, there is no form of guilt to which I was not subjected in my childhood. Members of my immediate family live all over the world - a diaspora of cousins, aunts, uncles and more in a dizzying mix.
Personally I estimate about a third of my time is spent on author events, social media and traditional publicity.