If you had to be stuck in a lift with someone, who would it be and why?

Bizarrely I was actually once stuck in the lift with the singer Joan Baez for ten minutes on the way to an event I had organised in central London. It was the venue’s grand opening and I think there were a few behind the scenes snags that needed sorting out. Needless to say she was totally professional and performed a very memorable set.

What is your biggest fear?

Given the number of signings and talks we organise, I can lie awake at night thinking that no one is going to turn up (even if the event is sold out!).

Do you have any superstitions?

I try not to, though I do prefer to see at least two magpies at any one time.

If you could have only one song on your iPod, what would it be and why?

That’s a hard one, as the great thing about an iPod is listening to different songs all the time. Perhaps Late for the Sky, by Jackson Brown.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought, not including property?

All the books, fixtures and fittings at The Chepstow Bookshop when I took over the business eight years ago. Very pleased I did, though.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Turning up is 90 per cent of success. While said in a jokey way, being in the right place and giving your all can achieve amazing results.

What’s your indulgence?

Books. Especially difficult at this time of the year as I am forever unpacking new books I’d like to read. The pile by the side of my bed is growing by the day. Currently reading Richard Ford’s Canada, which is exceptional.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

The ability to get up early and go for a run before the rest of the house wake up.

Where are you next going on holiday?

Even though I have lived in the area for eight years there is still so much of Monmouthshire I have yet to explore so I really want to get out and about locally in 2013. I would also like to walk some of the newly opened Welsh Coastal Path.