Lydia Syson is a fifth-generation North Londoner who now lives south of the river. She is working through her ambitions in a disorderly fashion. The publication of her first novel, A WORLD BETWEEN US, has taken a good few decades. During this time she went from being a BBC World Service radio listener in Botswana to a producer in London, and then became a non-medical doctor and mother of four. She also wrote a biography of Britain’s first fertility guru, DOCTOR OF LOVE: JAMES GRAHAM AND HIS CELESTIAL BED, learning a lot about enlightenment sex in the process. Getting to Timbuktu is still on the ‘to do’ list – it was the subject of her PhD thesis – but bilingualism and Hollywood musical stardom are looking increasingly unlikely.