Should I thank that author? YES!

Me, delighted by reader’s email

Fanmail. It’s an odd idea, when you start writing books, that someone might bother to write and thank you. But they do. And it is a delight, after a long day fiddling with edits or fettling plots, to find a little email in the inbox which just says ’thanks, I enjoyed your book’.

The creativity of writing is its own reward, of course it is. It is a privilege to have the time and the opportunity to make up stories. If people actually pay their hard-earned money to read them, I already feel hugely lucky.

If they subsequently take the trouble to write a thank you message, that’s hitting the jackpot. So I feel like a lottery winner this week with three thank yous – one from Norway (written, of course, in impeccable English).

They liked the books. They urged me to write more as soon as possible. They promised to buy them when I did.

It made my week!

It also reminded me that I should do the same – write to authors whose books I really enjoyed. Take the trouble. Leave a review. I don’t do it often enough myself.

At the local supermarket the checkout staff sometimes hand out little cards asking for feedback. I confess to having stuck them in my bag and forgotten them in the past. I shall make a point of going online and recommending Traci on checkout 9’s work this week. I hope it makes her as cheerful as my feedback has made me.

An Edwardian Christmas – mystery, murder, maths and Christmas pudding.

And then there were three! The third Vita Carew mystery is a Christmas story. Vita is distracted from her studies by a mysterious patient in the hospital. He has been injured and lost his memory, and she decides to find out more. She is soon drawn into the strange happenings in Dr Potter’s rural medical practice.

I had a great time with Dr Potter and the evil Miss Edith Finch. I was fascinated by the idea of a pair of (very) psychologically disordered characters who bring out the very worst in each other. An evil couple is a deliciously creepy idea. And of course a doctor who turns to the bad is deeply unsettling. We rely on our doctors. We want to trust and believe them.

I’ve just retired from teaching. Until now writing has always been an activity squeezed in around the day job. I often wrote at 5am for an hour or two, and at weekends and during holidays. Now I can write all day long! I am wallowing in time, binge writing to my heart’s content – a thousand stories jostling in my head and fingers that can hardly type fast enough.