The star novelist said she wanted to do her bit to help take people’s ‘minds off the tragic world crisis’, so all this week the Daily Mirror be running the book, which has never before appeared in print.
Q. Why are you gifting this book to Mirror readers?
A. I’m a British women living in NY and my heart goes out to my fellow countrymen what I’m going through in New York. I want to do something to help. I thought how can I help and what can I do? Really nothing except a bit of fiction, escapism, a story that might interest you and take your mind off the tragic and horrifying world crisis. I always escape in books, to be carried in a different time, a different place, identifying with other characters.
Q. What message would you like to pass on to readers?
A. We are all living in harrowing times like this but I always think of Winston Churchill and how one man, with only words to help him, he saved a nation in the Second World War. He kept us calm, inspired us, and gave us the determination to win. When people asked him what to do to get through he said, “KBO” – Keep Buggering On. So that’s my message to everyone and that’s what I am doing too.
Q. Why have you chosen this story for Mirror readers?
A. I’ve chosen my short read/story/novella Treacherous because it is a dramatic and touching story, and shows how we humans can cope with anything that is thrown at us if we have the strength, the spirit and the determination to survive.
Q. How are you coping at the moment?
A. Two weeks ago, I self-isolated and have remained at home alone while writing a new book. It is a bit difficult at times. At the end of my writing day I am still alone since my husband Bob died last July. What keeps me going is that I know he is looking after me and smiling down because I’m being the kind of women he would want me to be by making the best of everything, even in these tragic times. Every day, I do the following things:
- get up and get dressed as it makes me feel ready to cope with anything;
- undertake an hour’s exercise to keep me fit;
- speak to my girlfriends or they with me so none of us feel lonely;
- and I always make sure I have a good breakfast and good dinner at night, again to keep me well;
- because I am a journalist I keep the TV on and watch news or I might watch a cop show and I’ve always got a new book to read before I go to bed.