I was filled with self-loathing after losing my novel on my laptop Russell Crowe came to my rescue | Brigid Delaney

While my general level of chaos has made life hard, the Gladiator is my guardian angel You dream of a novel long before you write it. It ferments in some depthless place in your subconscious and, when its ready to pop out, it will tap on your skull like a spoon against a hardboiled egg. Once the tapping starts, the best thing you can do is just clear your desk and your diary and get to work. This magical thing was happening to me a novel was knocking around in my skull. I had a rough go at it last year. It didnt work. I threw it out on 1 January and started again. I spent most of April writing, …