Asking a complete stranger for their (unpaid) help can be a little difficult. I'm getting better at it, but - whether emanating from some childhood fear of rejection, I'm not sure - it doesn't come naturally. As I've alluded to before, I find it essential to know as much as possible about a subject before I write about it. And so, bristling with my usual trepidation, I sent an email winging across the Atlantic asking someone I've never met or spoken to, if they would kindly talk to me about something deeply personal and likely upsetting. A couple of hours later, a reply offering just that and more.
Thank you, Louise.