When you’re an author you rarely know the impact one of your books might have on a reader. I recently had a Canadian lady contact me through this website and this is what happened. (She has given me permission to use it in its entirety for my blog.):
Greetings from Canada.
I just purchased your novel “An Orphan in the Snow” to give as a gift.
I felt I had to write to you and explain the circumstances surrounding the purchase.It was on a shelf in a bookstore. For some reason my eye went to it and no others. I feel that synchronicity was at play and I think you will agree when I explain.
I have a friend who is celebrating her birthday on February 13 and I was out today looking for a birthday gift for her. The bookstore visit was for myself as I am an avid reader. However I had to purchase your book for her BECAUSE her name is JUNE LAVENDER and her grandmother came to Canada in the early 1900’s as one of Dr Barnardo’s children! You definitely wrote this book for June.
I cannot tell you how excited I was when I read the inside flap of your book and saw the connection to the main.character. I cannot wait to give her the book and see the look on her face. We were born in 1940 (me) and 1943 (June) so we are both products of WWII and remember the stories our parents told us about the war.
I just wanted to let you know how happy you have made me, the giver and June, who will soon receive it. As I said, SYNCHRONICITY at work…I was destined to find that book.Be assured we will now both be reading more and more of your books.
These coincidences are quite amazing, but for me it was the first one I couldn’t take in. Imagine wanting to treat yourself to a new novel and you’re in a bookshop facing shelves of fiction. Your eye goes to only one book which you take down from the shelf. What could have made Carleen’s eye go to mine amongst scores – even hundreds of others? It really was as though she was fated to pick that one. We’ve exchanged quite a few emails since then where another coincidence came to light. Canadian June’s father was in a wheelchair, and my fictitious one was, too, though he was faking it.
Tragically, June recently lost her only daughter and Carleen told me her friend is really enjoying my book which is managing to distract her for an hour or so whenever she picks it up. I’m not ashamed to say it brought a tear to my eye and I feel incredibly humbled that my story was able to give her a little relief – even though only in the minutest way.
Here is a photograph of the ‘real’ June Lavender (who gave me permission to use it).
Other news is that today I finished the first big round of edits for my third novel which completes The Bletchley Park series. There will be several more full edits but I find this particular stage is the most tricky as I needed to fill in some gaps of information where I was shaky at the time of writing and which could only be achieved by further research. Then I had to spot any continuity howlers, and finally determine whether I really had an entertaining and hopefully informative historical story that hung together. I will do the easy bit of grammar, punctuation, typos, tautologies, weak adjectives . . . the list goes on . . . during the next round of edits.
The publishers have just come up with the new title (not yet to be revealed) but Bletchley Park Book 3 should be on the shelves by the end of November – just in time for you know what! Hopefully, when you’re looking for a gift for yourself or a friend, your eye will go to my latest novel out of all the other hundreds of authors, just as Carleen’s in her local bookshop in Canada did!
See you in April when we’ll have longer, lighter days which will hopefully put a spring in our step.