My six author’s copies of In the Family came from Salt Publishing yesterday. They looked very nice, nestling in the box like a litter of kittens. Even though I need only one for myself, I shall part with them reluctantly! However, I have already sent one on its way, with my full blessing: I’ve given it to Anita, my neighbour, who had not the slightest idea until today that I am a writer. Nor is she a reviewer, a bookseller or anything remotely to do with publishing; she does not even belong to a reading group. She keeps a horse and dogs (lots of them).
When she was ill a few years ago, she discovered in herself a liking for books that she had not experienced when she was younger and (since my house is heaving with them) I became her unofficial librarian. We have a shared liking for crime novels and our tastes are remarkably similar. We also both hate the winter! When the evenings began to draw in, a year ago, she asked me if I had some books for her to read and I took round a wheelbarrow-load. They just about lasted her until the spring. I think of Anita as my yardstick: she is my model for all the unseen people I can never know personally for whom ‘a good read’ is an important part of life and who know what they like without analysing it too much. One thing I can rely on Anita to do is to tell me the truth. As a Yorkshirewoman through and through, if she doesn’t like In the Family, she will certainly say so. If she says that she does like it, I shall feel greatly privileged.
6 thoughts on “My fiercest critic”
They look wonderful. I absolutely love the Salt covers…all very enticing! It’s great to have a fresh pair of eyes in your neighbour who is not connected to writing or publishing.
Hello, Fiona! Yes, the originality of the Salt covers has always struck me – what an encouragement to read what’s inside! I was mesmerised by Carys Bray’s ‘Sweet Home’ cover, which made me want to hold it straightaway. Anita is genuine in her judgement; she will tell it how it is!
I was glad to hear about your proofs, too. They look fabulous.
Thank you! I’m ordering ‘Sweet Home’ this evening. I love short stories and this looks like a great collection.
I hope that my post (Nov. 27th) about Laura Wilkinson’s review of ‘Sweet Home’ caught your eye, Fiona! Great collection.
Yes, I’d seen her post on twitter but your blog post was good too. I’m looking forward to reading it.