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I’m aware that I have been a bit quiet recently – it’s probably because I’m not actually writing at the moment.  But there is plenty going on, and I’ll certainly keep you posted.

But for today, something lovely.  First thing this morning I looked at my books on Amazon – to be honest, I was checking to see if anyone had left a review for “Portraits of Pretence” – and I noticed that there was a new review for “Fatal Forgery”, by someone called Hooked on Books.  And it is a fabulous one – just read this:

I stumbled upon this author by chance whilst researching Sir Robert Peel, and so pleased I did.  I seem to gravitate towards novels based on Victorian London.  This, however, being the first regarding fraud.  Maybe today our bankers would think differently if capital punishment was still in place for such crimes.  However I deviate…. This was an expertly constructed novel. Susan knows her stuff of course.  Constable Plank is a pillar of the community and his wife Martha, such a lovely character.  You really get to know them both so well.  The accused – Fauntleroy, well I felt sorry for him in part up to a certain point.  But won’t say any more than that, as it would spoil it for those who wish to read this novel.  I struggled to put down my kindle, and found me contemplating over the plot in my head whilst nodding off.  Very gripping read and now on to the next in the series.

As you can imagine, I am beaming all over the place.  It is all thrilling, but the very best bit is “I stumbled upon this author by chance”.  I don’t want to underestimate the importance of friends, family and other supporters who would buy – and talk up – any book, short story, poem or shopping list that you might write.  They keep you going during the long, dark days of writing and rewriting, and they form the bedrock of your sales.  But for anyone hoping to be a professional author (which I think I do, one day), strangers are the key.  You need people who have no interest in you as a person, or in your feelings, to pick up your book, read it, enjoy it and review it.  And for me, this might just have happened – unless it turns out that Hooked on Books is my mother-in-law in disguise…

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