Someone came up to me in the supermarket the other day. Not a stranger – mind – it was someone I know.
They rushed up to me and excitedly told me that they’d started reading The Bluebell Informant and started to explain how much they were enjoying it. In that situation you can’t help but feel a little glad – one of the things that you always wonder about as an author is how many of your friends will bother to read your book. They like you enough as a person – but will they want to give up their time to read your work…
Well here was a genuine, bonafide friend who had hunted me down across a supermarket to tell me they were enjoying my book.
Thumbs up all around.
And then he said something curious.
He hadn’t read the book because he’d seen me posting about it on Facebook or because of my blog posts or author interviews. He’d been aware of it, naturally, but none of those things had prompted him to go out and read it for himself.
And it wasn’t the strength of my character that had persuaded him either.
No, it turns out that the main thing that had prompted him to pick up my book was because he was recommended it by a friend, who in turn had been recommended it by a friend who’d been suggested it by someone’s aunt who had heard about it via one of the author interviews I’ve done over the past few weeks.
I was utterly astounded. Here were four different people, all from different backgrounds and with different interests – and all of them had been raving about my book to the point where a friend of mine heard about it and decided to have a look for himself.
And then – low and behold – I received an email the very same day from one of my ghostwriting clients, who’d heard that my book was available and had immediately bought it and devoured it within a few hours. Generally speaking, I don’t know a huge amount about my clients – I find it easier that way – but I hadn’t pegged them as someone who would necessarily appreciate the story I was trying to tell. And yet, by all accounts, they absolutely loved it!
You often wonder when writing a book who you will end up entertaining along the way. I had a very clear target audience in mind – generally speaking you have to because you can’t please everyone. And yet it never occurred to me that I might touch the lives of so many people from different backgrounds – people I might never meet or speak with, and yet I have spoken to them through my words.
And one of them even told me they’d learnt a thing or two about bluebells along the way…
And that is just marvellous…
Nick R B Tingley is a crime writer from the UK. After several years working as a ghostwriter, Nick released his debut novel The Bluebell Informant– the first in his DS Evelyn Giles series. He is currently working on the second in the series – The Court of Obsessions – as well as a Victorian-era mystery novella called The Butcher of Barclay’s Hollow.
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