In October, The Woman Before Wallis was named the #10 bestselling work of fiction in 2020 by Booknet Canada, and ranked #46 on Indigo's Best Books of 2020 List. This post went live on my Instagram page in response.
Can I talk to you for a minute about being an artist?
Here’s the strange thing about being a first time writer: you have no guarantee that anyone is ever going to read the words you write.
You spend years working on faith: on the belief that what you have to say will resonate with other people. That the story you want to tell chimes with the experiences of others. At its core, that’s why we pursue art – to connect. To shine a light on those experiences which draw us together, rather than pull us apart.
So imagine my surprise when I found out last week that The Woman Before Wallis was named one of the 10 bestselling Canadian novels of 2020. Imagine, for a moment, my true astonishment in realizing I’d written something that chimes. That connects.
I have a thousand people to thank for getting this book where it is today, not least of which are HarperCollins, HarperCollins Canada, Mira Books, and Harlequin Books. My agent, Kevan Lyon; my editor, April Osborn. The bookstores who stocked this book on the shelves, and the booksellers who recommended it to their community of readers. The group of incredible historical fiction authors who helped me navigate this brave new world of digital connection.
But most of all, I want to thank you.
Thank you for reading my book. For picking it up. For sharing Thelma’s story. For your posts, your emails, your messages of encouragement. Thank you for understanding that the life of an artist isn’t lived in isolation – it only takes on true meaning in connection with an audience that adds their own lives and experiences and understanding into the characters on the page. In this strange, pandemic world, thank you for taking a chance on a first time writer. Please continue supporting debut authors and artists, as well as the independent bookstores who are struggling to keep their doors open in these difficult times. Your patronage means more than you know.
So. That was longer than a minute. And I could go on, but I’ll leave it at this. Thank you for making The Woman Before Wallis what it is. And thank you for connecting with one little artist, in one very big world.