Hi everyone, so I am writing this in LA, where I am busily gearing up for the summer while trying to finish my sixth Sidney Sheldon novel, Reckless.  As usual there never seem to be quite enough hours in the day.  Family life is chaotic to say the least.  I can’t help thinking I would be much more productive and creative if only I were a gay man – or perhaps just any sort of man – and did not spend half of the best years of my life gluing paper leaves on to pretend Native American cut-out dolls or answering questions like “Mum, how fast is the universe expanding?” from my ten year old  son before seven o’clock in the morning.  (And by the way the correct answer to that question is:  “A lot faster than my manuscript.”)

Last weekend we went camping with our three youngest near Santa Barbara. (Or ‘Santa Bra Bra’ as my three year old daughter calls it,  a source of endless hilarity to her brothers.)  This was a boy scout trip, but I’m afraid I failed to get into the dib dib dib spirit.  I am not much of a camper.  You can’t get any writing done and the sun comes up far too early.  The food is also disgusting, and when you get home the children’s socks are so dirty they have to be thrown in the bin.  I’m much more excited about our trip to Nantucket in June (lots of writing,  great food, comfortable bed) and of course about coming home to England in July and August.  I miss home, and especially the countryside, so much when I’m away.   I think in some ways my homesickness probably helps my writing.  Once Reckless is finished I will start work on the next Swell Valley book, and the excitement of that is sort of mingled in with the thrill of being back in our Cotswolds cottage, splashing in the river and eating fudge.  I am trying not to focus on the fact that, as I type, the cottage has no roof and multiple missing walls (long story).  There is an outside chance that our building works may have made us just a smidgen less popular in the village than we were last year.  Hard to tell for sure, although the firebombs are a bit of a giveaway.

Despite this it will be great to be home and to spend more time with my oldest daughter who has incredibly managed to reach the age of twenty-three and is even more incredibly employed as a Montessori teacher.  It’s a funny thing having grown up children.  They  sort of sneak up on you.  My daughters are almost exactly twenty years apart, and yet when I play hide and seek with my littlest, I feel exactly the same as I did with Sefi.  It’s as if no time has passed. 

On which note, I had better get back to the book!

Wishing you all a very happy summer.

Tilly x

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