So, the summer holidays are well and truly over and it’s back to the laptop. I like September. It always feels to me more like the real start of the year than January. Watching children head off for the first day of term in shiny black shoes, clutching new pencil cases bulging with freshly sharpened pencils, rubbers, biros, compasses and rulers, makes me itch to get my head down and focus again on my writing.
My family and I went to France in August, spending time among the beautiful châteaux of the Loire Valley, on the windswept Ile de Ré, on the Atlantic Coast, and in sunny Provence, amidst the olive groves and lavender fields. At the end, my fifteen year old and I went pony trekking in the Lot Valley, which was a fantastic adventure.
I love visiting new places and trying out new things but it’s not just about having fun, though that’s certainly important. The truth is, even when I’m far from my desk, I’m still working in a way, thinking about my characters, plots and locations and wondering where to take my story next. I firmly believe that no experience is ever wasted because somehow or other, it’ll creep into my novels somewhere, even if it’s just a feeling rather than a direct encounter or conversation.
My project over the next few months is to finish the fourth book in my Tremarnock series, set in a fictional Cornish village. When I began the first, simply called Tremarnock, I thought it was a one-off; I hadn’t a clue the place would get such a grip on me that I wouldn’t be able to let go, or that the characters would become so real, I almost expect to see them walking down the street when I visit some of the villages from which I took my inspiration.
I’m thrilled to say that I recently signed up with my publisher, Head of Zeus, to write a fifth and sixth in the series as well, so that Liz and Rosie, Robert, Tony, Felipe, Esme and the rest will live on in my imagination and, hopefully, yours, for some time to come.
I do hope you’ll stay with me on my Cornish journey, and please write and tell me what you think. Hearing from readers is one of the highlights of my day, and a big thanks to all of you who have been in touch already.
Happy September, and I hope to see you again soon!