The day Planet Mail came out was obviously a happy one for me. But as I spent half an hour erasing pencil scrawl from my daughter’s chair, table and hutch and mopping up the apple juice she had deliberately spread over every surface, I found myself wondering whether I was the only author who found not a lot had changed.

When will I be able to command my personal assistant to take care of the mess so that I can go back to my muse? How many books do I have to write before I become the new Barbara Cartland or Nora Roberts? Quite a lot I imagine. I keep hearing that I need to write steadily for the next 5-10 years or so, gain a steady following and then bask in my glory. That seems like a very long time to wait…

I blame this attitude on Mr Kate. When I hit 40 he pointed out very kindly that I was probably halfway through my life. This kind of startled me. I hadn’t really thought about it like that before. But was I a glass half full or a glass half empty? That is the question. And I’m still not sure. Hence my impatience to write faster and do better quicker.

I got to do a nice writerly thing last Saturday. My friend Susan and I went to a writer’s class to support our friend Caron Kamps Widden in one of her first forays as a published writer. She talked about her book, Restoration, did a reading and answered questions. She was really calm and professional and authorly.

I still can’t quite see myself doing that. First off, finding a passage to read in one of my books that wouldn’t frighten/offend/titillate someone would be tricky. Secondly as a famous blusher (read my previous blog on this) I’m not sure if I could deal with someone actually asking me about the sex scenes!

Email and the internet are definitely my preferred medium. People can imagine me how they want to imagine an erotic romance writer and I can write to them with confidence that they’d never guess it was me if they met me on the street. One delightful thing is fan mail from readers. When someone responds to your characters as if they are real people or wants to know what happens to secondary characters, you can only feel that you have ‘communicated’-that magical alchemy between writer and reader we all strive for.

It’s really hot here at the moment and my keyboard is a bit sticky. It makes it hard to type and even harder to concentrate when all I can think about is a nice big glass of cold water! In a week, I’m off to the Romance Writers conference in Atlanta. I’m really looking forward to spending some time with my ‘peeps’. People who understand my vagaries and my inability to live in the real world. People who understand that a first sale ribbon means something. (stop laughing Mr Kate)

Mr Kate is girding his loins to look after our 4 kids. He’s actually very good at it. The only thing I notice is that when I come back they are pleased to see me cooking anything. I’m not quite sure what he feeds them while I’m away. It’s probably better that I don’t know. But one great thing about dear Mr K-he is super tidy and I always walk in to a gleaming kitchen and clean floors. (then I wonder why I came back) (no, Mr Kate-that’s a joke-don’t pout!)