Well, I'm back from my holiday. New readers start here:
Every year, I go to a tiny place in Turkey that no-one knows about. No-one except me and all my friends and a large chunk of the Turkish population, that is. To get there, you fly to Antalya Airport, get a taxi (pre-booked by the hotel) and drive for two hours westerly along the much improved coast road, before turning off to drive through the Taurus mountains on a twisting, bumpy and sometimes dangerous road. You drive through the village of Adrasan, proper rural Turkey, and continue down to the bay, named at some point quite recently Cavus Koy. This is a strip along a wide curved bay hugged by the mountains with a few small hotels and restaurants, a couple of "markets" - corner shops to us - a ramshackle jetty where the boats tie up and that's about it.
The On Hotel, a family owned business, is right on the beach. It has a beautiful pool, nice but not luxurious rooms - no television or radio - and a bar. The English visitors, all of whom are regulars and meet up once or twice a year in June and September, spend most at the bar, while the Turkish guests, who pack the bay in July and August, spend very little.
But don't go there if you want high rise hotel complexes or night life. There isn't any. It's quiet and that's how we like it. We are greeted as friends, the various restaurant and hotel owners remember us from year to year - even down to our favourite items from their menus. Conversation in some cases can be difficult - not many of them speak English, perfect or otherwise, and not many of us speak Turkish, other than the standard "hello," "thank you," "two beers please" and "can I have the bill."
But the scenery is spectacular. The mountains have been compared to the Alps, but I like them better. The sea varies from pale turquoise to inky blue, the little coves you visit on the boat trips are also spectacular and you are quite likely to see flying fish, turtles (Adrasan is a breeding ground) and dolphins.
While I'm there, I always work on my current book. It means I don't lose the thread of the story and I can get back into it with less difficulty when I resume the normal working week. Which will be tomorrow. Now I have to try and fit in a research trip to the Isle of Wight where the book is set - yes, I'm taking Libby away from Kent!
In a couple of weeks, the print edition of Murder In The Dark will be published, and the ebook version is still in the top ten of Amazon's British Detectives chart. Hurrah.
And finally, much to my delight, I have been cast as Baroness Hardup in Cinderella, which will be on at The Playhouse, Whitstable during January and just tipping into February. I shall be knackered, but happy. Oh - and I have to sing. Again.