My husband and I live half the year in Western Australia and half in Wiltshire, England. It’s a great way to live, but hard work too, because we have two houses to maintain and organise. And two offices.
Even though I have a fully-equipped office in both countries, I still have to take some writing, research and business materials with me. Not everything is able to be digitised. And my husband is my business manager, and that’s a busy job, so he needs an office each end as well.
Leaving a house for six months takes several days’ hard work to prepare for the transition and then to re-open the other house. It’s over a day’s travelling to get there and I am not a happy flyer so this part is stressful for me. And for my husband. OK. I admit it. I get grumpy.
I also have to make sure all business associates, such as the editors at my various publishers, are aware of the dates and where I’ll be. They can’t send me editing at transition time, because I’m too busy, and then I have to get over jetlag before my brain will move into creative mode again.
There have been some unexpected spinoffs, like the book I set in a leisure village similar to the UK one we live in (Moving On). Fortunately our house was one of the first built so I had some idea of what it was like to start one up when I began to ‘build’ my own imaginary leisure village.
The best spinoff for me is to live ‘inside’ British society, not just see it as a visitor. After all, I emigrated to Australia in 1973, so until we started to live here each summer from 2008, my UK holidays hadn’t brought me up to date on the tiny details of everyday life. Since I set most of my books in the UK that has been invaluable.
Just one more thing – it not only makes good business sense to spend part of the year here, it’s fun. We get a rich portfolio of experiences and have met some fascinating people.
The Trader’s Reward is published in paperback today. You an order a copy here
Visit Anna’s website: www.annajacobs.com