After the free weekend promotion for Not Your Heart Away one or two people actually downloaded the book. To sound like a school assembly for a moment, the kind Ben and Liz, Claire and Poppy and Peter would all have been bored by and utterly familiar, you know who you are. It is those people I want to talk to now. The rest of you are here because of those people and I want you all to think about that.
When you read it, whatever you think about it, please, just please review it. All that means is write down what you think about it. It’s made some people wistfully happy. It’s made other people cry. When I read it I feel restless, as if I want to go to the places in the book. I went to all of them once.
Every location I wrote about is a real place. But you can’t go there. No-one can. The pub isn’t a pub any more. Claire’s house is a spa for Olympic athletes (no, it really is. I never, ever appreciated quite how big it was until I found that out). At Ben’s house the garden was split into two and sold off and the house went for pennies in 2012. Everything changes. Even love. Maybe especially love.
So rather than maundering off down that track, write down what you think about it. Then post it up to Amazon or Goodreads or wherever else you can think of, please. Even if you don’t like it. Just say why.
See? I could have been a teacher. Gissajob. I could have been a teacher. I’ve got a tweed coat and cord trousers. I can say no running in the corridors, how many times have I told you, I am not in the habit of handing out detentions but you need some time to think about what you’ve done. I don’t want to see you again.
I’ve got empathy, too. I know what it’s like to be on the end of those words. After all, plenty of people have said that last bit to me.