Tortie on Lundy

Letters and emails gratefully received!

Being an author is sometimes a lonely job, and it’s easy to lose a sense of perspective.

Having got soaked taking the dog for a walk, sorted out some of the most urgent farm bills, waded through loads of spam emails, found one new ‘spam’ follower on Twitter and noticed that my sales ratings on Amazon had fallen since I last looked, I didn’t feel particularly motivated this morning. I knew I’d got to write, but I could hardly summon the courage to get the manuscript for my latest book onto the computer screen.

I’ll just check my emails one more time, I thought, knowing I should be self-disciplined and get on with writing no matter what (advice I’d given to a group of writers at Appledore Book Festival only yesterday!).

There was one new email. It was a private message via my Victoria Eveleigh Author Facebook page from someone called Teresa Dalla Torre Khoury. Hoping it wasn’t a new kind of spam, I opened it. This is what it said:

Hi, Victoria, my daughter Gabriella (7) chose to read your book, Katy’s Wild Foal, for her school book review in two weeks time. We so loved it! Gabriella read it first and then I re-read it to her to remember the outline and details of the story, I even caught myself tearing a few times. Thank you for such a good read. Gabriella especially liked the ‘Rome wasn’t built in one day’ and I really enjoyed the part where Trifle had managed to use her nut bucket as a helmet! This story has so many important messages for young girls and I so enjoyed discussing them with Gabriella through the medium of this lovely book. We googled a map [of Exmoor] and Gabriella was thrilled to see all these places really do exist, and even more thrilled to see that there is a Barton Wood. Thank you for teaching us about Exmoor ponies. We especially love the foals, and will download a few images to show the class. Kind regards, Teresa and Gabriella (South Africa, Ballito)

I’d just finished reading that lovely message when the postman came. With the usual mix of junk mail and bills there was a hand-written card from my favourite author of all time, Kathleen (KM) Peyton.

Spirits soaring, I clicked on my manuscript and started to write…

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