This will take some filtering as I write. Not only because every day is so different in my life, but also because I seriously fit that much into my day, that most people would probably find it difficult to believe. So, the first thing you should know is that as well as being an author – which means I write almost every day, I also write a monthly column for a local newspaper, I foster teenage children and at weekends I often go out as an entertainer, either singing or running karaoke shows in pubs and clubs.
A typical day might start with me getting any kids up and ready that might be living with me, sorting out packed lunches and school runs and last minute PE kits or a cookery list that was only produced at 7.00am that morning. Then at the moment, my daughter is expecting her 4th child any time now so I usually help her out with her school runs or her shopping or something.
Next, before meeting my taxi driver husband for lunch, I will either go and pick up the singing equipment from one pub and drop it off at another in preparation for a gig, or I’ll be off round the town, paying my bills and grabbing some groceries. During lunch I catch up with the hubby on any issues I’ve had with the foster kids and organize our diaries to fit in any meetings or training sessions we need to attend.
After that I make sure I go home and clean the house and do the laundry before it’s time to pick up kids or make the tea. I don’t know why – probably down to my mum, but I always, always try to have food ready for each person as they come home. The kids will be greeted by a drink and a snack, or their tea if they are particularly hungry children, the minute they get in from school, and I’ll have my husband’s tea on the table as he walks in. I have scented candles lit, the TV on low and everything cleaned and relaxed. It’s not that anyone would moan if I didn’t do this, I just find it makes for a happy atmosphere if I do.
I then potter about, helping with homework, catching up on phone calls or preparing things for the next day, because I have this thing – again, don’t ask me why, but I don’t allow myself to sit down until 7.00pm. My Emmerdale time, I call it! The kids can do what they like then, but I sit. The rule is that any children vacate the living room after 8.00pm as that is our time.
We go to bed at around 11.30 but I get back up again at around 1.00am to write. This is definitely my most productive time, and I need very little sleep. I’m usually back in bed for about 3.30am and get four hours of good sleep before I’m up and at ‘em again the next morning.