I arrived back home three days ago, after six months touring Europe in our motorhome. Yes, it was an amazing trip! We spent three months in Italy, a month in France, a month in Spain, and the rest of the time split between Croatia, Switzerland and Portugal with four days back in the UK in July to attend our son’s graduation.
Both our boys came out to visit us and spent a week each touring with us. We have been to some amazing places. Too much to try to cover here, but if you want to know more about the trip please take a look at our travel blog for all the details.
My plan was always to keep going with the writing while we travelled, and I did manage to do this though possibly not as much as I’d hoped. It took more time than I’d anticipated to keep the blog up to date and to plan ahead.
But here’s what I did manage to achieve writing-wise while on the road:
- Two rounds of edits of my next novel. I had just finished a rough draft before we left which I printed out and took with me. Edited that, sent to my editor, re-edited it in line with her comments then sent on to my new editor (my previous one has moved on to a different imprint with HarperCollins and will be much missed)
- Planned the novel after that, wrote a synopsis, wrote about 15,000 words.
- Some promotion for my latest, The Girl from Ballymor, which came out in September.
Not bad for a mobile life! But now we are home I need to get going with all of it again. Promotion, editing and first-drafting – all need to be progressed. Oh, and I am back at the day job from tomorrow. There’s no rest… but no one feels sorry for me after my six-month holiday! Can’t think why!
I haven’t been completely ignoring this blog – I have just been stupidly busy so far in 2017. I’ve been editing the next novel, and writing the one that’s to come after that. And I’ve been planning a six-month trip in our campervan, which will begin in April. Associated with that I’ve been learning Italian.
Oh, and then there’s the day job, of course.
So – about this six-month trip – my husband and I have set up another blog in which we will write about our travels. Please do take a look, and if you are interested in following our progress around Europe, bookmark it or subscribe to follow it by email. I won’t put much about the trip on this blog, which I’ll keep for writing and book news. Here’s the link to the new blog: https://inktravel2017.wordpress.com/blog/
And a little bit of writing news – my book The Pearl Locket is on promotion in the US, currently selling at just 99c. This has given it a lovely boost, and I was over the moon earlier today to see it reached number 27 in the overall Kindle chart. Of course I had to get a screenshot of that, to grin stupidly over whenever I need a confidence boost:
It’s slipped a bit since I grabbed that screenshot but it was up there for a while, honest!
Oh dear it has been over a month since I posted anything on this blog. I had a fortnight’s holiday in Ireland in May, travelling round in our campervan, and I feel as though I have barely stopped moving since.
There is a little bit of bookish news to share – The Emerald Comb is currently on an Amazon promotion – 99p on Amazon.co.uk until the end of this month. Grab it while you can!
As a result of this, I now have TWO books with best seller flags which is extremely pleasing. Obviously I needed a screenshot of this – and here it is.
While in Ireland we toured the south-west corner – counties Cork and Kerry. This is where my next novel is mostly set, so I found it very inspiring. No date yet for publication but I will let you know when I have one.
Gertie (our campervan) turned out to be perfect – better than we’d dared dream. I love everything about her. Just as well, because next year we plan to spend six months touring Europe in her! Here she is parked at the foot of Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain, which we climbed on a beautiful and memorable day. That’s me, just before we set off.
In non-bookish exciting news, we have bought ourselves a campervan! And yes, I have called her Gertie. I don’t know why, but she feels like a Gertie and the name is going to stick.
We have hired campervans before a number of times, in the USA and in New Zealand, and enjoyed travelling around in them. Many years ago we decided that when I qualified for ‘long leave’ (my lovely company give six months paid leave after you’ve worked for them for 25 years) we’d spend the leave driving around Europe in a campervan. The big trip will be next year – April to October – so we thought we should buy the van this year, and have a few short trips in it to get used to it.
And here she is in all her glory! She is a German van, Hymer B508CL if you want the detail. She’s second hand and was imported from Germany for us by a wonderful company called Bundesvan who specialise in importing mostly German, left hand drive campers. As we’ll spend most of the time on the continent we thought left hand drive would be more convenient.
We picked her up on Sunday, brought her home and JUST managed to squeeze her into thr driveway. She’s only 6m long but quite wide, and our house has narrow gateposts designed for 1930s cars…
We have a few alterations to make – switch the internal gas supply to LPG, add a solar panel to charge up the leisure battery, add a bike rack on the back, replace the curtains which I just don’t like. First proper trip will be a fortnight in Ireland in May, but we’ll have a weekend or two away in her before then.
I’ve also been planning things like – where will I store my laptop in the van; what novel will I work on while we’re away; how will we get wifi? All important questions for a writer!