…are generally seen as tight-fisted, narrow-minded philistines only interested in the profit margin. But of course that’s not always true. Mine, for example, really likes to read, and she calls me now and then, as she did today, to say kind and encouraging things. It’s always a little strange to hear her voice on the phone. This is a very big name, and a very busy person, and here she is calling to tell me that she loved the first three chapters of Queen of Swords. When contracts are being negotiated I have nothing to do with her or the process — I am very happy to leave all that to my agent, because the idea of these two women head to head makes me want to go hide in a closet. On the other hand, the occasional phone call is very welcome.