By the time you read this blog I'll be on the high seas. Why? Well because my husband and I are lucky enough to be celebrating our Golden Wedding anniversary on 26 March, and we've decided to do it in style by cruising in the Western Mediterranean. We are even going to have a gondola ride in Venice...an absolute must for a writer of contemporary romance as I'm sure you'll agree.
Those 50 years seem to have flown by and yet I can remember the beginning as if it were yesterday. Our only travel then was in a small car on mostly secondary roads as there were few highways in the UK in those far distant days. We were married for years before we flew in an aeroplane and a lot more time went by before we boarded our first cruise ship, but how times have changed since then. Now, thanks to work as well as holidays and trips to see friends, we have visited more than 40 countries and are still travelling, and I can hardly believe it. Growing up I never expected to travel anywhere outside the UK and my parents never did.
Readers know that many of the places I visit feature in my books and that is particularly the case with Cabin Fever. The story follows another cruise we took, this time from Auckland in New Zealand to Sydney in Australia. It's written from the perspective of the crew instead of the passengers. Did I just make it up? Not quite. I talked to some of the crew members to ensure I got my facts straight before I returned home and wrote about it, and in doing so I was able to relive the cruise all over again, always a bonus.
I have no idea which, if any, of the places we visit in March will feature in future books. It could be Dubrovnik, or Venice, or Malta, or a host of other places, or perhaps none at all. It depends entirely on whether something triggers an idea for a story. One thing is for sure though, celebrating or not, I will be looking for that trigger. It's my default mode.
Something else is going to happen in March as well. A weekend in an hotel with two of my cousins and their spouses, all of whom were also married 50 years ago in 1966. It must have been a very expensive year for the family! We all know how lucky we are to still be together and to have our health, and we are going to drink to it, and to the future, because hopefully we still have a few golden years left. Maybe that should be my next book. The story of 3 marriages. On the other hand...maybe not!
My next book, Remembering Rose, which will be published in June, a few months after my anniversary cruise, is about a marriage though. Well two marriages actually, which, although there is more than a century between them, are inextricably linked together. In this story the only travel involved is time travel, something which, looking back over the past fifty years, I seem to have done just by living.