The idea for Life’s a Beach and Then… came to me while on a holiday to Mauritius, with my other half, two years ago. I had been very busy with the publication of my first book, One Hundred Lengths of the Pool, and the additional appearances I had made on QVC as a guest rather than a presenter to sell it. All of that was on top of dealing with the side-effects of the drugs I was taking to deal with chronic myeloid leukaemia that I had been diagnosed with eleven months previously. I really needed a restful holiday.
On the first morning in Mauritius I settled on the beach with a novel to read and the notebook that my children had bought me for Mother’s Day, entitled ‘Hold on people… I’m having an Idea’, in my beach bag just in case inspiration struck. Thirty minutes later, after listening to the rhythmic rumbling of the waves on the reef and the lapping of the smaller ones on the shore, I rummaged in my bag for the notebook and a pen. I had indeed had an idea and, scribbling manically, the words just continued to flow. Every moment of the supposed restful holiday, at the dinner table, walking along the beach, even while swimming the daily one hundred lengths of the swimming pool in preparation for a charity swimming gala, was taken up with plotlines and character development. I have to feel some sympathy for my long-suffering other half of thirty-seven years, Chris, as it really was almost all I talked about for the ten day duration of our holiday.
There are four main characters in my book, Holly, Philippe, Robert and Rosemary. The two female characters both have elements of me in them. Holly is physically more like me in everything but age, she is twenty years younger than I am, but Rosemary’s story is closer to mine. She is a former dancer and as the book reveals she is diagnosed with CML although, thankfully for me, my outcome is very different having recently been told I have had a complete molecular response to the drug therapy. Robert is loosely based on my other half and Philippe is pure fantasy… in more ways than one!
Life’s a Beach and Then… is part of the Liberty Sands trilogy and the second book, If He Really Loved Me… , is already part written.