The idea for THE LAST KISS GOODBYE came when I visited an exhibition to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the ascent of Everest, put on by the Royal Geographical Society.
Every photo on show was amazing, but the image of legendary mountaineer, Sherpa Tenzing reaching the summit and grabbing the flag was particularly powerful — I thought it was such a potent symbol of human endeavour and courage.
I left the gallery, but little did I know that my husband had secretly bought the Sherpa Tenzing photo as a birthday present for me, and had arranged for me to go and pick it up from the Royal Geographical Society.
I’d never visited the RGS before and didn’t realise what a fantastic photographic archive they have. Some of the pictures were just incredible. People going to the jungle, into the desert, up mountains — so many of them risking their lives in the name of discovery and adventure. It got me wondering about the people they left behind — family and lovers who could not be certain whether they would ever see their loved ones again.
I thought about an image that might capture that love, hope and anxiety and that fictitious image formed the basis of my new novel THE LAST KISS GOODBYE. I also thought it would be wonderful to write a book about an explorer. What a brave, glamorous and dashing job! And Dominic, who is very suave and James Bondish, became one of my favourite heroes I have ever created.
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