Well, here we are at the end of January, with New Year well and truly behind us. The blog had a successful make over - new faces and an injection of new ideas and enthusiasm getting the revamped site off to what we all hope will be a happy and successful 2016. Now, as February approaches, life is settling back into its normal routines for the majority of us, and the phrase ‘new beginning’ so popular on January 1st has been buried by real life.
There’s been a lot of talk recently both on social media and in the mainstream news about a certain Katy Collins. In case you decided to hibernate for January and missed the furore, Katy’s debut novel about her own new beginning has hit the headlines in a big way. Jilted virtually at the altar, she decided to travel the world to get over her heartbreak. Along the way she wrote a blog and has now landed a three book deal with CarinaUK - the first of which ‘Destination Thailand’ immediately topped the bestseller charts in late January. Well done Katy - your New Beginning has been awesome - very public - but awesome.
I’m sure we’ve all dreamt at some stage about having a new beginning - running away from a life that has become difficult or just plain boring but unlike Katy, not many people actually do it. Well, I’ve got a confession to make to those of you who don’t know me. Seventeen years ago my OH and I did just that. When everything went wrong and we lost our home, we bought two bikes, put the dog in a trailer behind one of them, bought a tent and ran away to cycle down the canal paths of western France and on to the Riviera. Not as exotic as going halfway around the world but to me, someone who had just lost her home and security, and who had only ever been abroad once before, it was a huge step to take.
Neither of us called it a new beginning at the time or even thought it would be years before we set foot back in the UK. It was simply a challenge and an adventure at a time in our life when we were floundering. It was when we decided to stay and make a life for ourselves in France that it turned into our new beginning - a unexpected life in a foreign country that was never planned.
I had always planned on being a writer though and living in France has helped in that respect - although in other ways it has hindered. (Maybe more on that in another blog post.) All these years later we’re still here, although no longer down on the Riviera, and our new beginning has morphed into the inevitable routine lifestyle like everyone else’s - albeit in a country where I still struggle to speak the language.
I have a question for everyone. If your latest work hit all the bestseller lists and you were suddenly in demand for TV and radio interviews, features in both the tabloids and the more serious papers and popular magazines - how would you deal with it? In a world where it seems there is an insatiable appetite for private things to be made public, would you embrace the publicity or would you run from it?
This is the new cover for one of my shortly to be re-issued books which will be available as a paperback for the first time as well as on Kindle. I thought it made an appropriate picture for the theme of my blog!