For somebody who's been awake since the crack of dawn, Kate Ritchie is surprisingly upbeat.
Since her alarm went off this morning, she's appeared on not one, but two breakfast TV shows to promote her new children's book, It's Not Scribble To Me. After our interview, she'll head to the Nova studio to present her drive show with Tim Blackwell and Marty Sheargold.
"There are far worse ways to be busy!" Kate says with a laugh as she settles down for a chat with TV WEEK.
And it appears that the mum-of-one's hectic schedule could be about to get even busier.
Since leaving her long-running role as Sally Fletcher in Home And Away, fans have been eagerly awaiting Kate's next small-screen move.
After a five-year television hiatus, the 40-year-old hints that she's finally ready to make her TV comeback.
"I would be lying if I said I'm not looking forward to the day I'm back on a TV or film set, flexing those [acting] muscles again," Kate reveals.
"I hope it's not too far away. Fingers crossed something will come in 2019."
As for her ideal project, the actress believes she'll stick within the drama genre and has previously expressed interest in starring in a show like Channel Seven's Wanted. However, Kate is also open to trying something completely different.
"There's some great Australian comedy out there at the moment," she says. "So I'll just have to see what comes along and if it's the right time."
Kate also hasn't ruled out the possibility of working behind the scenes. In fact, the published author reveals she's been adding to a folder full of show ideas for years and is especially intrigued by crime dramas.
"Maybe something with lots of strong female characters," she says.
That said, Kate adds with a laugh that she can't picture herself playing a detective.
"I do ask a lot of questions – but I'm not sure I could pull off the uniform!" she says.
The one question on every Home And Away fan's mind is whether Kate would ever consider another stint in Summer Bay. Kate has previously deflected her response, but it appears she's had a change of heart.
"Never say never," she says.
For more from our interview with Kate, including her thoughts on a return to Summer Bay, pick up a copy of the new issue of TV WEEK. On sale now!