Some of you may be aware that a couple of years ago, Penni Russon and I co-wrote, in alternating voices, a book called Dear Swoosie. Her character was a smart-talking redhead called Poppy, and mine was a hippy-drippy blonde fortune-teller named India.

Well, I've just started reading Six by Karen Tayleur. And one of the six main characters is a hippy-drippy fortune-teller - called Poppy. With red hair.

Tres bizarre! Admittedly, Swoosie is a light-hearted, frothy romp, and Six is... not so much. The books were published in the same year, so there's no way we could have accidentally read each other's novels. It just goes to show that there is a lot of stuff floating in the ether, and sometimes two or three people haul down the same things in their nets.

But the weirdest thing about it is, it's exactly the kind of spooky coincidence that the India/Poppy girls themselves would absolutely love. I can almost see them smiling mysteriously, not-quite mirror images of each other, and wandering off into the Land of Fiction, arm in arm.

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