Monday, 4 October 2010


I think that could be the first month I have missed blogging in almost three years. In my defence September is a very short month. So what have I been doing? I was in Spain for most of the month, staying in a very cool finca in the mountains north of Malaga for some peace and quiet. Nothing around for miles, we could only see one other house from our grapeviney terrace (that's the view from the hammock in the picture above). Sadly the distant house was home to the world's yappiest dog. I was tempted to buy a gun, drive down the valley and up the other side, and deal with it. The children got their revenge by getting up at five thirty every morning and tearing around by six. In southern Spain it is still properly dark at that time and it was clear and moonless so I was able to show them a real night sky. Little Claudia took a few steps outside, sang 'twinkle twinkle little star' tunelessly twice and then retreated back inside until the sun came up. I think she was a little scared of the enormity of the universe. Or chilly.

After Malaga we travelled to Valencia where my husband's family still keep the two-bedroomed, top floor apartment where his mother and her four siblings were born and raised. I love Valencia. It's a friendly city with a beach and a beautiful old town. There will always be a playground every couple of blocks where the parents sit around drinking wine while the children play until midnight.

I spent a lot of time thinking about the three major characters in my new novel, how they feel about the world, who they will fall in love with, what they will do when they find each other. I am in love with the title. Clue:

Now we are back in the village. October means birthdays, Jimmy is one next week and Claudia is three at the end of the month. I have a lot of work to do on the new book, as well as getting my head back into the old one as the cover and whatnot get discussed and decided. My editor has invited me to lunch. I have already googled the menu at Orso to decide what I'll be having.

And X-factor is well underway. Team Katie. There, I said it.

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