Many moons ago – way before I even thought about putting pen to paper to write anything more creative than a shopping list – I went on a motorcycle tour of Devon with my husband, riding pillion on his Norton.
At a hotel in Ilfracombe we were asked by the proprietors if we’d mind sharing a table at dinner with another motorcycling couple. We didn’t mind at all.
Said couple were a fair bit older than we were.
The wife, a wiry little bundle of nervous energy, opened the conversation over the starter thus: ‘I never meant to have five children. But when Derek came along he was so absolutely perfect and wonderful I couldn’t quite believe what I’d produced. You see, I am not good at anything normally. I can’t knit or sew. I’m not much of a cook. I don’t play a musical instrument, and I can’t sing. I was so thrilled with Derek I thought I’d see if I could produce another one the same, which I did as soon as it was biologically possible. Then someone told me that it’s not fair to have two children because mother would love one best, and father the other, and really you should have three for a bit of balance. So I had another. All boys. I was feeling a bit outnumbered now with four males in the house so we tried again and this time we had a daughter. Well, it wasn’t fair for her to grow up all Princessey being the only girl so we had another one.’
Obviously, the above isn’t verbatim but it is pretty much how the conversation went. I was enthralled. My soup went cold as I listened to her. She, if I recall, passed on the starter. We never saw this couple again but I never forgot the encounter.
And my life has turned out much the same really. I only ever thought I’d write one book, just to see if I could do it. But TO TURN FULL CIRCLE looked a bit lonely on the shelf, so I wrote a sequel. EMMA: There’s No Turning Back joined my ‘family’ in January this year. Both books are published by Choc Lit. Can you love your books equally, as we love our children equally? Both are lovely to look at but I do have a preference and I’m not saying for which. So… and you can see where this is going, can’t you? … was it time to balance things up a bit with a third? Yes, it was. So while I wait for ‘baby’ number three’s gestation period in the form of edits and a book cover my mind is already on the future…..five is a nice number, isn’t it?