Titles are not copyright, but I wouldn’t presume to write a novel under the one above which was so well served by Nigel Nicholson’s portrait of his parents, Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson.

I’m borrowing it here, however, because their story is a fascinating example of what a marriage might contain, suffer, exhibit and yet still survive. When I thought up the title for my debut novel, E-published on Friday 3rd May by MuseItUp, I was looking very clearly at the creation of a marriage, not its endurance. That’s why it was surprising to have to constantly bring myself back to what was going on in getting to the altar. The brain was racing on with scenarios of what these people would do later. Maybe that’s where the title, Mariah’s Marriage came from because it served as an anchor holding me in check.

I find one of the hardest things about writing is the constant need for the protagonist to lose out and suffer. As a fairly rational individual, I do find it hard to write characters who make wrong decisions even if for the very best of reasons. I do find it incredibly hard to write quarrels which could be resolved in a few minutes by some clear-headed thinking.

However, I did find it therapeutic to write the villains for Mariah’s Marriage. Lucas Wellwood and his sister, Amarinta, gave me hours of satisfaction. There are those, maybe in the counselling worlds, who would say the real villains in any marriage are found within the psyches of the partners. No villains needed.

Maybe after you’ve read Mariah’s tale, you’ll have a view. I’d love to read it.