Monday, August 22, 2016

It's a Wonderful Life

So here is the new and lovely cover for my latest book, It's a Wonderful Life, which is coming out in November. Woohoo! I am particularly excited about this book as it is my TENTH published novel, which is a little bit mindblowing. It only seems five minutes since I got the never to be forgotten phone call that told me finally I had reached my dream of becoming a published author, but it is in fact ten years. In this time I have gone from being a mum of four children aged ten and under, to a mum of teenagers, with two adults in the house. Which is why nowadays you'll find me writing far more about the trouble with teens, then the complications of looking after small children.

However, part of the inspiration for It's a Wonderful Life derives from a reaction to those years slogging away at the coalface of motherhood. I have often joked - particularly on family holidays, when as one of my children so eloquently put it once, "the trouble with family holidays is too much family" - that I would love to run away from home. When you are always having to be the responsible one, the one in charge, it is extremely seductive to dream about chucking it all away and going and doing what you want for a change... ... and that was where the idea for the new book came from.

My heroine, Beth, has a successful career as a picture book artist, but with her children growing older and away from her, and feeling stifled by her daily routine, she starts indulging in a What If... daydream, made ever so slightly more dangerous by her meeting up again with an old flame who broke her heart back in the day. She's daydreamed about him on and off over the years, but never expected to meet him again. IF you had a secret fantasy (and COME ON, don't we all? I do but I'm never telling in a MILLION years)and he/she turned up out of the blue, what would YOU do?

Particularly when this happens...

"My heart is thumping as he comes over to me, looking gorgeous as usual. This is horrific. At a moment when I should be concentrating on my family and my husband, my secret crush is standing before me. Fantasies should stay fantasies, not walk into your kitchen looking hot as hell."

The other inspiration I had for this story was thinking about family Christmases, and what happens when they go disastrously wrong. (I can remember one spectacular one in my family where my dad and his brother argued violently and swore never to see each other again). So my story starts with Beth's family gathering for Christmas as usual only for her parents to drop a huge bombshell which will impact on everyone for the whole of the next year. Throw in Beth's husband, Daniel, dealing with his estranged father, two grumpy teenagers, and Beth's sister, Lou,reeling from being rejected (again) by her latest girlfriend, and I hope I've managed to create a story, about love, loss, wasted chances and the ties that bind.

I had a great time writing it, so I really hope you enjoy reading it!

And thanks to all my readers new and old, who have bought my books over the last ten years. There's no point being a writer beavering away at their computer, if no one actually picks up what you've written, so I am immensely grateful, and I hope you continue to keep reading!