The sound of bird song awakens me and I lazily turn to my Greek Adonis husband, trailing my fingers across a Diet Coke break six-pack. We are going to spend the day on our veranda in the thirty-degree heat of another blue-sky Corfiot day, doing nothing but sipping cooling ouzo-based cocktails, nibbling on simple pitta bread filled with spiced lamb, hunks of glossy tomatoes and a rich tzatziki gazing at the azure sea view…

Mandy Baggot

Mandy Baggot

Wouldn’t it be nice?! OK, some of that fantasy is true – birds do wake me up and my husband is ripped and I do have a cottage in Corfu but, apart from that, this writer’s life starts with a six a.m. wake up and the school run in Wiltshire.

Most authors I know are expert jugglers and I’m no different except that I’m now lucky enough to be able to focus on my writing full time. I left my job at Wilsons Solicitors where I worked as a Probate paralegal back in 2010 and these days it’s about cramming as many words – and tweets – into the hours my daughters are at school.

The majority of my writing is done in my office at home. I have a great room overlooking my back garden and the undulating fields of the Woodford Valley and yes, Sting really is my near-neighbour, although his acreage is far more substantial than mine! Though I still hope he and Trudie might need a cup of sugar from me one day.

However, when a deadline hits, I take my laptop to… the land of accountancy. Remember that hot English husband? Well, I’ve found settling myself in the middle of Tax Return City and Balance Sheet Town is somehow so far removed from what I’m creating on paper that it really helps my focus. There’s no ‘I’ll just put the washing on’ or ‘I’ll just catch up on Prison Break’, I’m in the writing zone and there’s no stopping me… well, only until lunchtime for a quick Pinot Grigio and some bar snacks!

After I’ve picked the children up from school I often keep working, only really downing tools around seven p.m. Usually then I switch off – be it for Netflix and some dinner, or singing to my husband’s guitar-playing as we practice a bit of a rock music set – but that isn’t to say my mind ever stops thinking of new ideas for books.

So that’s my usual everyday life, however sometimes I get really lucky and get to go further afield.

Being a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, there are a lot of occasions I just can’t miss. Cocktails and wine at bookish parties, award ceremonies and an annual conference. I get to touch base with other romance writers, beautiful bloggers and reviewers and the gorgeous readers who faithfully buy my books. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than meeting readers and hearing how they chose my book to occupy their precious holiday time.

And I’ve been fortunate enough to establish a loyal fan base in my second home of Corfu, Greece too. Signing paperback copies of my Greek-set books in that same location is the ultimate thrill.

So, that’s me, school run mum, who enjoys wine time, all things Greek and is a little bit addicted to karaoke… I’m sure I’m not alone in that!