Star novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford has a special gift for Daily Mirror readers.

All this week, we’ll be running her brilliant novella Treacherous, which has never appeared in print

The Leeds-born former journalist, 86, and now living in New York, said she wanted to do her bit during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: “I thought how can I help?

"Really nothing except a bit of fiction, escapism, a story that might take your mind off the tragic world crisis.

"I always escape in books, to be carried to a different time, different place.

“I always think of Winston Churchill and how one man, with only words to help him, saved a nation in the Second World War.

“He kept us calm, inspired us, and gave us the determination to win.

Barbara's book Treacherous has never appeared in print

"When people asked him what to do to get through he said, ‘KBO’ - Keep Buggering On.

"So that’s my message to everyone.”

Barbara began her working life in the typing pool at the Yorkshire Evening Post and has gone on to write 35 novels which have sold 92 million copies worldwide in more than 90 countries and 40 languages.

She explained why she chose her short story Treacherous, specially for Mirror readers: “It is a dramatic and touching story, and shows how we humans can cope with anything if we have the strength, the spirit and the determination to survive.”

Barbara with former US First Lady Barbara Bush
Barbara as a young woman

Like so many others Barbara has been alone in self-isolation for the last two weeks, writing a new book.

She added: “It is a bit difficult at times.

At the end of my writing day I am still alone since my husband Bob died last July.

“What keeps me going is that I know he is looking after me and smiling down because I’m being the woman he’d want me to be by making the best of everything.

Barbara with husband Robert after she received her OBE at Buckingham Palace

“Every day, I get up and get dressed as it makes me feel ready to cope with anything, do an hour’s exercise and speak to girlfriends so none of us feel lonely.

"I make sure I have a good breakfast and dinner.

“I keep the TV on and I’ve a new book to read before I go to bed.”