I feel like I am coming up for air, finally escaping from the hamster wheel of creativity that has kept me chained to my keyboard for the last few months. My mind has been so full of books, with all the characters knocking on the inside of my head to be let out. To quieten them, I’ve had no choice but to sit tip-tapping away for hours, days, and weeks until they have been exorcised.

Who am I kidding? I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT! I think sitting in my pj’s with tea on tap is the best job in the world. I feel very lucky.

I guess the only people who don’t love it are the boys who watch their mum disappear behind a screen, emerging only to run them to school and cook the tea and while doing both I am known to suddenly shout out ‘Ooh I know!’ as an idea might form itself while waiting at traffic lights or when flipping the fish fingers, I then grab my trusty notebook and pen and scribble away. Worse still, is when a phrase pops into my head at 3am and I send myself texts in the dark so I don’t forget the exact wording. My poor husband is used to it and now simply buries his head till the disco light of my phone shuts down and normal sleep service is resumed.

My computer has been running a little slowly and so I asked the husband to have a look at it. Apparently my system was ‘clogged with rubbish’ ha! If he thinks my laptop is bad, he should take a look in my make-up drawer and the cupboard under the stairs. He then proceeded to look at ‘my history’ and called me over. Without knowing my profession, any random onlooker might raise an eyebrow as the subjects researched ranged from ‘how much does a cocaine habit typically cost?’ ‘what does a prostitute charge?’ and ‘best way to dispose of a body?’ along with the usual ‘when is Broadchurch on?’ and ‘how can I remove red cabbage stains from a white bedspread?’ Don’t ask.

He performed some wizardry and I’m happy to report I am now back to full speed. Phew.

The boys are in their final year of A levels and if I think about them leaving home and heading off for pastures new, I start crying. I can’t stand the idea of not having them around the house, I shall miss every aspect of them, even the noise, the wet towels on the floor, the penicillin filled cups under the bed, the pizza boxes on the sofa and the stream of mates in search of a bed and a bacon sandwich. Oh gosh, thinking about it and I’m off again… I’m not ready. Will I ever be ready? Probably not.

Thank you so very much for all the wonderful, wonderful feedback I received about Christmas for One – so glad you loved catching up with Meg from A Little Love as much as I did. My aim was to write a story that left you with that ‘ahhhhhh’ feeling and I hope I did.

My new book A Mother’s Story is out mid February you will meet Jessica and Matthew whose story is moving, uplifting and thought provoking. Jessica is newly married, full of fun and ambition with a fabulous sexy marriage and great mates. Her new baby is going to be the icing on the cake, but what if that instant love she expected to feel for her child doesn’t materialize? What if she doesn’t feel like she can cope? What if she feels she can’t tell anyone this?  

I have spoken to many women who have shared their experiences of Post Natal Depression and I hope that this book helps lift the lid on the taboo subject. Maybe if we spoke more about the feelings that so many women experience, it will encourage openness and help eradicate the phrases that kept cropping up in all my interviews ‘I felt like a failure’ and ‘I thought I was a bad mum.’ ‘I thought I was the only one…’

There are more novels from me out later in the year: A Perfect Daughter in July, Three and a Half Heartbeats in September and The Christmas Café in November (I know I know – I’m a machine!) Details of all will follow nearer the time.

Just before I nip off to pop the kettle on, I have to share my very exciting news that I am now an ambassador for the Sepsis Trust – a role that I am honoured to fulfill and excited beyond belief that the Sepsis Trust are going to help mend Sepsis. Please check out the website www.sepsistrust.org If there was a disease that killed more people than breast, colon, prostrate cancers, road accidents and AIDS combined in the UK every year, you’d think everyone would be talking about it wouldn’t you? Help us start the conversation.

With love and thanks for all your wonderful support and kinds words which mean more to me than I can say.

Mandy xx