I was an editor for 30 years before Michael O’Mara Books asked me to write what became I Used to Know That. I think its success took everyone by surprise – it certainly did me – but it led to my writing a lot of other books and finally, after about three years, feeling able to tell people I was an author. It's a nice feeling. Until recently the book I was most proud of was The Book of London Place Names (Ebury), partly because I am passionate about London and partly because, having written ten or so books before that, I finally felt I was getting the hang of it. Now I have to confess I’m really excited by my first venture into continuous narrative. For A Slice of Britain: around the country by cake (AA) I travelled the country investigating, writing about and eating cake. From Cornish Saffron Cake to Aberdeen Butteries, I interviewed about 25 people who are baking cakes, biscuits and buns that are unique to their region, part of their heritage – and pretty darned delicious. The Sunday Times reviewed it and described me as ‘engaging, greedy and droll’, which pleased me enormously.