I met Julia when I did publicity for Crocodile Soup. From our first telephone conversation I was charmed by her generosity, enthusiasm, patience and understanding. She made the often difficult and nerve-wracking publicity process feel easy and fun. Her launch party in Newcastle was the most exuberant and warm affair that I have ever organised. I loved calling her about reviews and interviews when we would end up chatting about life, shoes, families and children. I was pregnant with my first child then, and Julia always made me feel that she was more keen to hear about my bump then about her publicity tour. I loved her writing too, her humorous and humane voice, her original and lyrical view of ordinary lives. Funny, wise and honest, she was wonderful and exhilarating company. I feel privileged to have known her.