My latest and seventh novel, The Summer Holidays Survival Guide, is out tomorrow! It's incredible that I will have seven books out. When I wrote my first, This Thirtysomething Life, I had no idea what would happen afterwards. Fortunately it got me a publishing deal with Hodder & Stoughton, but if it had flopped who knows. So here I am, about to publish book seven, and I have to admit that despite the usual pre-publication nerves - everyone's going to hate it, no-one's going to buy it, it's the worst book in the history of the world - I'm very excited about it.
The reason I'm so excited about this book is that I loved writing it and most of all, I really enjoyed spending time with the characters. So much so that I couldn't say goodbye to them and I'm currently writing a Christmas novella, The Family Christmas Survival Guide, so I can spend a bit more time with them. This is why I'm excited for this book to come out because I want to share them with you. I feel like they're currently just my friends, but I want to let you guys in too.
So what's, The Summer Holidays Survival Guide, about? The book is written in diary format from the perspective of father, Ben Robinson. It's essentially a comedy about a family trying to get through the school summer holidays together, but it's a lot more than that. It's about a man trying to save his marriage, deal with his children growing up, and his father dying. It's about first love, first periods, friends with emotional problems, middle-age, and what happens when our children stop needed us as much as they used to. It's a comedy I think that a lot of people are going to relate to.
When I finished, The Summer Holidays Survival Guide, I had the feeling I had in some ways completed a journey. My first book, This Thirtysomething Life, was about the rigours of surviving pregnancy and becoming a parent. It was a deeply personal book as it was something I was going through at that time. I feel the same about The Summer Holidays Survival Guide. It's about where I'm at now. My children are nine and seven, and a lot of issues in the book are issues I'm thinking about. So, in a way, this could be seen as the end of that journey. Although I realise there's still a long way to go so expect a book about a couple in their fifties with grown up children in the future!
I love this book and I really hope you do too! It's out tomorrow but you can pre-order your copy right here in the U.K. and right here in the U.S.