Sometimes doing this job gives you a warm glow

I'm the first to admit that, if you can make a living doing it*, being a writer is not a bad gig. You don't have to set the alarm in the morning. It's part of your job to read interesting stuff and mooch about being creative. Admittedly the writing part is a bit of a faff, but, hey, everyone has downsides to their job. But there is one aspect of it that can be particularly pleasant - when someone says one of your books has inspired them.

According to the incomparable Cumbria Crack (I never get my news anywhere else**) Keswick student James Firth, who has won a science bursary, wants to study astrophysics and has a long term aim of following Tim Peake into space. And, it seems, 'James has a fascination in astrophysics having poured through books by Stephen Hawking and Brian Clegg. He now aims to study astrophysics at university.'

I wish James every success and am genuinely delighted to have played a small part in helping inspire his fascination with science.

* This is not the easy part. Note that, according to an ALCS/ Queen Mary University study, the median professional author income from writing in the UK in 2013 was around £10,000.

** Okay, not entirely true.