In the second of my guest posts asking some of our authors to share their thoughts about book fairs and the lack thereof over the past two years, I’m delighted to invite Thorne Moore to share her musings. Thorne is another founding member of the the Narberth Book Fair (formally of Tenby) and she is one of Honno’s most successful authors.
Thorne’s Honno novels include her debut, the highly acclaimed domestic noir, A Time For Silence, which became a UK Top Ten Bestseller. Following Motherlove (2015) and The Unravelling (2016) in 2020, Thorne penned The Covenant, a prequel to A Time for Silence.
In addition to her books for Honno, Thorne has a number of other novels to her credit. Not least her two most recently published books, Inside Out (2021) and TWO DAYS AGO – the follow-up, Making Waves. Huge congratulations, Thorne!
Join us at the Honno Authors Book Fair on Saturday 7 May and discover them for yourself! In the meantime, welcome, Thorne and over to you.
Lockdown. We had to stay at home, hide away, worry over dwindling toilet rolls, never stir beyond our doorsteps and give up any idea of office, travel or general socialising, even with our nearest and dearest. In theory I should have ridden it like a swan on calm waters, because I always did work from home and I generally avoided travelling and socialising if I could, so nothing really changed (and I had a good supply of toilet paper). Strangely though, the first lockdown quite paralysed me. How do you write with any realism about the world when you have no idea what is going to happen to it? Was everything we took for granted about to become an irrelevance? I couldn’t write at all for a couple of months.
I did have a book published, though, The Covenant; a novel I had written before the pandemic landed on us. As a general piece of advice, I’d say don’t launch a book in the middle of a pandemic. Silence can be deafening. And, despite my disinclination to party, the lack of physical book events began to drain me. I especially missed the Narberth Book Fair which I had previously run with Judith Barrow. We had passed on its organisation to the Queen’s Hall in Narberth, unaware that a pandemic was just about to strike and that everything would shut down. Zoom events still happened, of course, but I have discovered I deeply, truly, madly detest Zoom.
Despite the barren desert of literary events, I did resurrect the will to write. It had begun to reassert itself by the end of the first lockdown, but what really spurred me on was an event that has made an enormous difference to me: I turned 66. State pension age! Everything changed. I had always written, previously, with an eye to getting published and making money. Think Marianne and Eleanor in Sense and Sensibility here. When I say making money, I don’t mean a fortune that would allow me to buy a yacht and a private jet. In fact I wasn’t even expecting to earn enough to survive on dry crusts in a draughty garret. But what I did hope for, with increasing desperation, was a few pounds that would enable me to cut down the time spent doing jobs I didn’t want to do, and have maybe one or two extra hours a week when I could do the only thing I did want to do, which was write.
And lo! Now I am in receipt of a state pension, and I am free to spend all day, every day writing, if I so wish. In theory at least – as I was self-employed, I am still closing the order books. But it does mean I no longer have to confine myself to writing what I think the publishing world will find acceptable. I must, grudgingly, thank Amazon Kindle for that. I no longer have to pour a year’s worth of blood, sweat and tears into a book, only to be told ‘Sorry, not for us.’ I can let writing be a pleasure again and not a chore. I used to write Science Fiction and revel in it, so now I have returned to it. I feel like a Beryl Cook woman, not giving a hoot anymore. There’s a lot to be said for being officially classified as old. I am writing, I am flashing my fur coat, and I am itching for another living, breathing literary event. With facemask, of course.
You can find out more about Thorne and her books by following the links: