I spent the last week of my US stay visiting the American branch of the family. My aunt was a GI bride - a group of amazing women who fell in love in war time, then followed their man to the other side of the world.
One of the advantages of visiting New Jersey is its proximity to New York, and a few days were spent exploring, including a trip on the ferry, an experience stashed away for possible future use. Writers are magpies, they recycle all sorts of shiny trifles. The semi subterranean pier building, the uneasy way the dock undulated under your feet, the loneliness of the terminal on the New York side, waiting for the last boat. I've stashed it all away. Who knows where and when it will surface again?
The canine members of the American family are also working their way into a couple of future books - a case of watch this space. I've promised them a credit in the dedications. I had to, they are bigger than I am!
And on the Saturday before I returned home I did my first American book signing. Many thanks to the staff
Then, as soon as I got home it was the RNA Summer Party - where, sadly, I had to part with the Joan Hessayon trophy. It was honour to have it gracing my book shelf for a year - an absolutely fabulous year.