I can’t quite believe June is here already. I am in America at the moment and schools break up for summer really early here, so the holidays are already upon us. This weekend my husband and I are flying to the East Coast with our three youngest children for a month on Nantucket island, their favourite place on earth. Nantucket is stuck in a 1950s time warp. It’s all about buckets and spades and riding bikes and crab fishing, the perfect antidote to city life. I love it there too, as it’s extremely peaceful and beautiful, and (theoretically at least) a great place to write and be inspired. I recently finished writing a new Sidney Sheldon book, Chasing Tomorrow, which is a sequel to one of Sidney’s biggest selling classics, If Tomorrow Comes. It’s a thriller, featuring Tracy Whitney, a female con artist who was Sidney’s favourite heroine and whom I also absolutely love. Writing a Tracy Whitney story is about the most fun you can have and get paid for. But it’s also all consuming, and for the last six months I’ve been totally immersed in Tracy’s world. So it’s exhilarating but also a little strange to return at last to The Swell Valley and start work on the second novel in my series. It’s a total change of pace and tone, but also a sort of homecoming in a way. Sitting at my desk here in LA, or soon in Nantucket, I feel as if I am walking down those lanes in Fittlescombe and Brockhurst, or sitting in the Fox sipping Pimms and lemonade with my characters. And I realise how much I’ve missed them. With the first instalment of The Inheritance now out back in England, I feel drawn back into that world myself. I’m incredibly excited to introduce my readers to it for the first time.
My youngest son’s class did a topic at school a few weeks ago about their parents’ jobs. Some of the mums and dads came in to give a talk about what they did for a living. My son came home telling me all about his friend Monica’s mother (a very high powered surgeon and mother of seven – yes, seven!) and how amazing her job was.
“Do you know what my job is?” I asked my son. I had told him, but I wasn’t sure it had sunk in.
“Oh yes,” he said confidently. “I told the whole class about it.”
“Wow, that’s great,” I said, gratified. “So what did you say?”
“I said: “My mum goes to the gym.””
Hmmm. Perhaps it’s time to knuckle down and spend a bit more time in front of my keyboard? Now that they’re home for the summer, my children might even get to see me do it.