Nancy Bellerose came to me in a dream, and I was grateful for that, I had my publisher breathing down my neck for my next book that I hadn’t started. She had immaculate glossy raven black hair. She had impressive cheekbones and her hazel eyes were almost cat-like. Her sultry lips were painted red.

Chapter one was going well, I’d introduced Nancy Bellerose immediately, and she was behaving like a luscious bitch in a coffee shop, almost curdling the cappuccino she sneered at whilst jangling her disgustingly expensive gold bracelet. But I was getting a headache and needed a short break.

I decided to take a leaf out of my very own beginnings of a book and pop out for a coffee. And fuck me, guess who was there? Could it really be? But how is that? She looked just like her. I had a strong desire to slap my own face. That woman couldn’t be Nancy Bellerose, I mentally chanted, because I had made her up. She didn’t exist. I watched her rebuff her foamy drink and heard the jangle of the bracelet I had just written about moments before.

She turned in my direction and noticed my intent gaze and she smiled that deadly smile with ruby lipstick.

‘Nancy?’ I called across the room. She shook her head.

‘Caroline,’ she said.

‘You’re Nancy Bellerose,’ I assured her.

‘I think you must be confused. My name is Caroline Hawkins,’ she said.

‘You’re in my story, your cappuccino, your bracelet.’

Her smile began to fade.

‘I’m sorry; I don’t know what you mean. I’m leaving now, goodbye,’ she announced, picking up her handbag.

‘We both know that you’re Nancy fucking Bellerose,’ I scoffed.

She hesitated at the door and looked back at me, winked and blew me a scarlet kiss.