Staying out of the midday sun

The second in the Mad Dog trillogy, following the adventures of Holly, Peter, Sandra, Cameron and Jasper as they adjust to their new life in the South of France.

Four Londoners, whose lives are already entwined, wittingly and otherwise, are about to meet again in an obscure seaside town in southern France.

Holly and Peter after a ‘meeting of souls’ in book one, have installed themselves in Castallen-sur-Mer with their son Gabriel, no plan, a violin and a small stash of money, which is about to disappear…

Sandra has left Spitalfields, packed her manuscripts, her life and her best friend into a transit van, and is driving towards a small stone house on a hill outside Castallen, where Cameron will be waiting for her.

Jasper, after an unpleasant road-trip and an episode in a Montpellier hotel room that he would rather forget, has arrived in his graffiti-sprayed VW camper van with his Chef’s knives, good references, and a lingering desire for Darren.

Set in France, London and Las Vegas, ‘Staying out in the midday sun’ is the second part of a trilogy spanning twenty years, in which the heroes are challenged with the everyday: love, babies, gite cleaning, a new language, ageing parents – as well as shoot-outs, Las Vegas weddings, bureaucracy, duck gizzard salad and possibly the end of the world.

I’d just read a rather dreary saga – I can’t now remember what – and at the end thought ‘Mm, I wonder what it would be like to write an actual novel’. I’d written a lot of childern’s stories, including ‘Alfi Beasti, Don’t Eat That!’ (published in 2004) but hadn’t thought about writing for adults. A few days later, during a swim – often a good idea-sparking activity – the idea of ‘Going Out’ occurred to me. I got out, started writing and continued for three years until the trilogy was complete. When I glance at the writing now, I know I would do it very differently but I am happy for the books to be out there and know from much feedback that they are appreciated. Perhaps if I (when!) I succeed in getting traditionally published, I might consider a re-write for the trilogy. Might.


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Praise for ‘Staying out of the midday sun’

The second book is great…. The characters face new challenges in their lives, mostly set against a beautiful backdrop in France: sometimes swelteringly hot, sometimes windy and chilly, but always authentically and vividly described.
We don’t follow the progress of the characters, we are pulled into it, with the chance to enjoy every twist and turn. And the best news is that this is a trilogy!…so one more to go!

Adrian Hardy

Marketing Manager

So, many of the original characters are now residing in southern France, exploring new ways of living and loving. They have grown up and in some cases grown old!
A delightful storytelling talent, with the capacity to make us really identify with her characters, Kate Hardy has a refreshingly simple style.
Her subtle descriptions of landscape and the linkages of said landscape to events are wonderful! There is just enough love and sex to keep us entertained, without it feeling gratuitous, and above all, we find ourselves just dying for things to work out for these people!
Thank you, Kate, for writing true and authentic stories about life in France, without the sugar coating or the desperate depression of the rest of the crowd!

Claire Lyell