In Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing he famously advises writers to “try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip”. In popular fiction this usually means long passages of description. In his review of “The First Lie”, Kindle reviewer John J. Staughton says: “I found King’s ability to paint a scene particularly impressive, and the settings of the events in the novel were basically a character in their own right.” This suggests I got the balance right and I thank my editor Nicola O’Shea for her fine eye (and sharp pencil) when it comes to eliminating “padding”. She wisely pointed out that books told in the first person should keep description brief and appropriate to the narrator’s mood. For example if Selkie is feeling anxious or preoccupied, she’s not going to give a dispassionate description of her surroundings.