Saturday, September 19, 2009

Paperback edition and readers' letters - Again!

HEARTS OF GOLD has attracted a trade paperback edition, so will be available to purchase at the RRP of £10.99 in January 2010. I’m very pleased because - although my books usually make it into large print and audio versions - this will be my first paperback edition with Severn House. So despite the post Christmas release slot, I hope the novel sells as well as it has reviewed so far.

This sort of breakthrough can often be attributed to reader demand. I’ve always encouraged readers comments. I receive letters through my PO Box and via email from readers of all ages and places. The youngest, and latest is a 15 year old from the middle east, the oldest, a lady in her late 80s from England.

A fair number of my readers come from my home town in Dorset, where I was born and grew up, and which I often, but not always, use as a setting. Quite often I’ll get a reminiscence, or a confidence, and I’m touched by this.

My agent, who is a talented author, writing as Kate Allen, suggested that I publish one or two of the letters on my blog. I have thought about this in the past and came to the conclusion then that as some of the letters are lavish in their praise, to publish them would be too braggy. Others contain too much personal information for me to feel easy publishing them. However, now and again a letter comes along that is neither. So the following is a good example of one of the truly delightful letters I receive. I’ve edited it slightly to shorten it and omitted the name

“Hello Janet,

I live on the Sunshine Coast.

I was born in the North East of England and moved to Dorset when I was 17. Dorset is a beautiful part of the World and I always recommend it to anyone visiting Britain. I lived there until I emigrated to Australia almost two years ago at the age of 39.

I discovered your books in the local library and was hooked instantly. I now scour the local libraries in search of my next read. Not only do I love your novels and find them hard to put down but I also love the nostalgic trip back to Dorset. Your stories are heart-warming and a pleasure to read. I will be recommending your books to my mum and sisters who still live in Dorset. I think they will not only enjoy your stories but also find comfort in the connection between Dorset and Australia.

Thank you for brightening my day.”