Diana lives in Bath. She is a journalist, tutor, editor, radio presenter, and Agony Aunt to Writing Magazine.
Her debut novel Don't Think a Single Thought was published in September 2019.
Diana tweets @DianaCambridge
Diana's favourite novel is The Magus by John Fowles, and her favourite novella is The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark. Her top poet is Philip Larkin.
Don't Think a Single Thought
Published on 26 September 2019.
Paperback copies, signed when available, are on my website here.
Please enjoy the opening lines of Don't Think a Single Thought...
She wakes. There’s a second or two of comfort – the warm bed, the shimmering morning light, the sound of seagulls. There’s even a pleasant residual muzzinesss from the sleeping pills the night before – then anxiety claws at her. Her stomach wrenches, her mind spins with fear.
Their Hamptons apartment is empty – her husband left for the city hours ago. She could make fresh coffee in the immaculate beach house kitchen, but that means getting out of bed.
‘Try to put one leg out, then the other,’ her therapist had urged last week, smiling, making a sort-of joke. She’d smiled back at him. But it can’t be done. Her legs won’t move. She clings to the quilt, buries her head in the pillow. Soon she’ll reach for another pill.
‘It’s a vacation – the fresh air will do you good. Get you back in shape – you know. And we can hire a housekeeper – you won’t have to do a thing except lie on the beach and read. That suit you?’ It was a kind of joke, too, though in her nerved-up state she’d detected some criticism in her husband’s words. He’d still commute to Manhattan, but reduce his time at the hospital.
Her therapist advised: ‘Just lie on the beach, Emma, and don’t think a single thought.’
She’d been ill for months with a mystery virus, flu-like symptoms that wouldn’t go away, her energy falling all the time. Her weight had plummeted, and she’d had to abandon her job in favor of spending time in bed. They’d prescribed anti-depressants which didn’t work. Tranquilizers were better… an expensive doctor would always let you have some, reluctantly of course. She wasn’t an addict: it was occasional use only.