In my novels I try to make sure my characters behave in a manner appropriate to their upbringing and status. As all authors know, our characters don’t always comply with our ideals and they sometimes move off at a tangent, often in a way completely alien to their nature. As a writer, it’s my responsibility to bring them back. Readers don’t like non–conformity. They like everyone to behave as they should, so they say, ‘That person wouldn’t have done something like that, it isn’t in their personality.’ But real people can’t be pigeon–holed. Just as you think you know someone, they do something completely out of the ordinary and surprise you, often just by giving you a compliment when you might be used to getting an insult, or even worse, the other way round. Some surprises are worth having, but others aren’t. So why not give someone a nice surprise today. We all like to be pampered now and again. You could buy your loved one a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates or better still, surprise yourself. Charity begins at home, so they say.