I wish this was a serene Happy New Year post, written on one of those lovely, secret days ‘between the years’ where all you need to do is eat, read and make a resolution or two.

Instead, bookended between the usual holiday frenzy and a variety of illnesses taking down the family one by one, I’m hunkering down in my study, antiseptic spray at the ready, frantically editing the final draft of my new novel, Summer of Secrets. This last stage is both utterly amazing (as in: you’re almost done, thank heavens) and completely nerve-wracking (surely, it’s not ALL complete rubbish?!) and my nerves are frayed accordingly. It’s my fault, really, as I decided literally at the last moment to rewrite my ending and change my villain’s fate, which included many late nights poring over the fundamental requirements of punishment, redemption, forgiveness.

It all ended well (not so much for the villain, though). The draft was handed in and I’m finally able to take a deep breath and look ahead to 2018. Summer of Secrets is in the capable hands of my lovely copy-editor and due out this summer. Seeds for Book 3 are starting to germinate at the back of my mind. The Norwegian, Italian and Dutch editions are publishing in the first half of the year. A London visit is on the cards in early summer. All lovely things to look forward to.

So after a frantic 2017 and an even more frantic holiday season, my goal for 2018 is very simple. Actually, it’s one singe word that I’ve stuck, rather prosaically, on a post-it on my pen-holder: Less.

Less means to pause. Be mindful. Stop multi-tasking. Take one step at a time. I want to scale back from the flotsam and jetsam of busy-ness and focus on what’s essential. For me, that is writing and talking to my readers, the two things I love most about being an author. As of March, I’m starting my monthly newsletter, filled with updates and behind the scenes looks at my desk (tidy, I promise!) and the occasional lovely giveaway. I would love for you to join me on my journey as I head into this brand-spanking new year, which is still — but not for long, I’m sure — so very clean, fresh and uncluttered.

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