I have to confess there have been bits of lockdown I’ve enjoyed. I’ve enjoyed not looking at my diary, knowing I haven’t forgotten to do something. I’ve enjoyed knowing that no one will come into my house and see the mess. I’ve enjoyed having more writing time so I got my book finished a bit early. But what I’ve really enjoyed is being in touch with my readers a bit more.
During lockdown, people have had more time to read and some of them have sent lovely messages. I love knowing why people read my books and what they get out of them. If they get in touch, and leave an email address, I can reply. If you’re at home, shielding, not getting out at all, you have a bit of time on your hands and cope with an email from a writer, so do contact me.
Writers spend a lot of time on their own, making stuff up, and while we do have all sorts of people who look at what we do from a professional point of view, it’s what the readers think we really care about.
I heard recently from an intensive care nurse and knowing my books have cheered up someone who is in such an important job in these very hard times is really inspiring. But I’d be just as pleased if I heard from any key worker. As a writer, I stay at home, safe and comfortable, living in my imaginary world. You guys are out there, risking your lives, literally, so I, and millions like me, can be safe. I don’t often have the chance to say thank you, so if I’m given the chance, I will take it!
Lastly, with lockdown easing, It means I'm able to hug my grandchildren again. Seeing them from a distance was a special kind of torture. Now we can be together again.
Sandra McKenna says...
In self-isolation here in South Australia, and like you, there are certain aspects of it that I enjoy. Definitely lots more reading time; your books are my favourite way to escape and always cheer me up.
Keep up the writing; I am sure lots of your readers, myself included, will grab anything you write.
July 15, 2020
Virginia Lucas says...
I am from Redondo Beach, CA, which is a suburb of LA. I had the good fortune to find you as an author over 20 years ago. My husband and I took a trip to England in 1998. We stayed in a beautiful but a bit frantic hotel right in Leicester Square, which is walking distance from all the great bookstores on Charing Cross Road – and a destination of mine for the trip! (I wanted to find some authors from England to follow, since I had adored everything by Rosamund Pilcher and her “Rosamund Pilcher’s Bookshelf”, which was a series of recommendations for other British authors.) While in London, I found books to bring home by Trisha Ashley, Jane Green, Jill Mansell, and YOU! I bought “Wild Designs” and “Stately Pursuits” which I have read repeatedly AND bought for others over the years. I think I have read everything you have written, although I am hoping my sister (a fellow Fforde-o-phile) brought me the recent “A Springtime Affair” as a belated birthday gift! I just wanted you to know that your books bring me great joy. I am NEVER disappointed and I treasure each and every one. I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite, but there is something about your first, isn’t there?! (For me, that was “Stately Pursuits”. Please write more books! I have discovered other writers thanks to your endorsements on the books by Julie Caplin/Jules Wake and Sue Moorcroft, so I can fill in the times when I don’t have one of yours to read. Thank you so much for the gifts of your books. Thank God for you and your storytelling. Please stay well through this crazy time and know that you have a special place in my heart.
I really enjoy your books as they provide me with the opportunity to switch off and be envelope myself into the worlds you create. After long shifts as a community midwife there is nothing better than a relaxing read and a cuppa/glass of wine. Perfect
Lynne Willis says...
Thank you so much for the pleasure your books give me, I recently reread them ll in order, nd will do so gain. I love the way I can meet old friends and learn new skills. They are all on my kindle now as my eyesight is failing rapidly and the books have been passed on to make new friends. My daughter is now a fan since I gave her Practically Perfect as she rescues greyhound! Thank you again xx
Andrew Waine says...
I enjoyed your message. I’ve been and continue to be locked down in what I describe as the very best open prison in the country. I’ve spent most of my time reading(audio) and writing . I started writing ten years ago for my wife when she fell victim to Alzheimer’s. After she passed I continued writing short stories as part of the grieving process, and for friends and family . I’ve just finished a small book, (never to be published) I love observing human nature and letting my imagination run riot. Thank you for your inspiration over the years. Andrew Waine