For me, Ben Elton is my literary idol. He was famous before becoming a novelist, being an indomitable television writer and stand-up comedian. I was fortunate enough to find out how to contact him personally, in 2006 and bless my stars, he was magnanimous enough to send a hand written letter of reply. I treasure that letter to this day, by having it framed in my living room. If I was one tenth as talent and successful as my idol Ben Elton, I'd be an extremely happy guy. What author, above all others, has inspired you to follow in their footsteps and become a novelist?