One of my favourite books is Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But as much as I love that book, I didn’t think that this year’s Salisbury Literary Festival might end with news of my own demise.

This year’s literary festival has been, for my money, the most varied and enjoyable programme we’ve put on so far. It was a privilege being able to welcome so many fantastic authors into the city. In fact, my only regret was that because we’d programmed sessions against each other on the Saturday, I was continually running from venue to venue, trying to grab a bit of each event.

Among my own highlights were listening to Nicola Ford explaining the secrets of the landscape around Avebury, getting my old, battered copy of Wild Swans signed by Jung Chang and watching the library in rapture as local illustrator Neil Smith taught the children how to draw monsters. Then there was a moment on Harnham Bridge during the literary walk, explaining how the then post office worker Anthony Trollope got his inspiration for his Barchester novels, only to be interrupted by a present day postman driving across.

As for my demise? Well, the festival ended at the Chapel on the Sunday evening, with an evening of readings in aid of Salisbury Foodbank. It was a great occasion – the Chapel Room is such a wonderful venue for events, and I was pleased we were able to raise money for such a worthwhile cause. Part of that came from our literary raffle, with an array of prizes kindly donated by Salisbury’s authors. As well as a Wiltshire walk with Barney Norris and a framed illustration by Kristina Stephenson, the prizes included the honour of being a murder victim in a forthcoming Salisbury crime novel by Andy Maslen.

As Martin Starke, kindly hosting the raffle, pulled out the winning number, I realised with a look of horror that I held the winning ticket. It seemed a strange reward for running a literary festival to find yourself getting murdered in print, but I guess it’s for a good cause. I’ve known Andy for many years, and he said afterwards, with a grin, ‘I’m going to enjoy this.’

Back home, I hoped for a bit more sympathy from my children for my predicament. Instead, my daughters started discussing the best way to do me in. ‘He could put dynamite under your bed,’ suggested my youngest daughter. ‘How about a bucket of acid,’ suggested my eldest. Thanks, guys. I suspect, though, that might be getting off lightly: having read Andy’s books, I know he is particularly adept at finding ways to kill off his characters. Wish me luck.