I did something out of character in the week before the publication of The Perfect Sister. Alarmed by alerts that a level 5 lockdown was imminent, I sent a panicky email to my editor, wondering what would happen if my long-awaited, about-to-be-released book was trapped in transit, locked down in a warehouse somewhere, unable to find its way to the bookstores, even for online sales, never mind gracing the shelves.
Like most families, we’ve endured our share of pandemic pain with job casualties and broken dreams (although thankfully no sad bereavements), and this, I feared, would be the sting in the merciless Covid tail.
But I received a most reassuring reply, which eased my mixture of pre-publication butterflies and heavy, Covid fatigue, and my fears were not realised, small as they were in the context of a global pandemic. The Perfect Sister made it to the bookshelves just before we were gripped by level 5 lockdown restrictions. It is available online from all good bookstores, but most importantly, available through call, click and collect from most local independent bookstores, who now more than ever deserve our full support, and need it in order to survive. The Kindle eBook format is also available internationally and at a very special promotional price for a limited time.
In a year when so many artists, musicians and creatives have seen their livelihoods decimated and their long-held dreams crushed just when we most need their wonderful creativity to lift our spirits, I count myself one of the lucky ones that thanks to the nature and resilience of the book industry, eighteen months of work is able to make its way out into the world and into the hands of readers. Being unable to have a book launch gathering (and a great excuse to put on some bling), and having to forget about a signing tour around the bookstores (always fun and enjoyable) was a small price to pay in the overall scheme of things.
Next year, hopefully, we will return to the bookstore launches and offline festivals, the concerts, theatres, cinemas and exhibitions, all the happy events that add joy and fun to our lives. For now, I can’t promise that picking up The Perfect Sister with all its escapism will soothe your worries, but I guarantee, for a while at least, a pandemic-free zone.
Stay safe, Zoë xx
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