It happened. It almost didn’t, but The Place Between launched on Sunday 15th  March 2020. After starting my writing journey sixteen years ago I am officially a published author. My debut novel is now out in the world.

I had imagined this post would be an ecstatic celebration of fulfilling my dream. I am proud of having come this far and touched by the level of support I have received from my friends, family and colleagues. People are universally generous. There appears to be an unspoken understanding, even amongst those who don’t write, that this is a tough gig. I’m amazed by how other know what a deeply personal, terrifying and exposing act it is to write something (even fiction) and put it out into the world.

I have been treated with kindness, sensitivity and an incredible outpouring of love and support.

The next few months would ordinarily be spent promoting The Place Between in libraries, festivals and bookshops. Sadly, the escalating situation with the coronavirus means that these events are now unlikely.

I have mixed feelings about this. Of course, there is a level of disappointment. I defy anyone to work on a project for a decade and find themselves unable to enjoy and share it with the world through tradition channels.

However, the safety of our community, health care system and vulnerable members of our society are more important than anything else.

We find ourselves in a situation I have never experienced in my lifetime. We are all preparing to spend more time isolated from the friends and community we have come to rely on. Many of us are facing uncertainty around employment and financial security. I have thought long and hard (shed a few tears over the weekend) and spent the time to put this in perspective. There are so many positives to take from this situation.

Community level:

We are working together to save as many lives as possible.

We are being given the time to reflect upon what matters to us most.

We are being given the time to look outward to others.

I suspect that when we come out the other end of this, we will have a renewed sense of community – what it means to us, how valuable it is, what we can and can not live without on a long-term basis.

We will place our work in perspective to the importance of our family and friends. I wonder will we return to the way things were before, or we will use this as a catalyst for change in our work practices?

Personal level: Should schools close and we all find ourselves at home.

We will have more time to read.

We will have more time to play board games with our family.

We will not have to set an alarm – perhaps for months.

We will call and check in on our friends and family more than we used to.

Our pets will love having us in their lives all day, every day.

We are already seeing the best in people.

As a debut author:

People will be reading more.

People will be wanting to engage online, to connect and share. We are not alone.

My book will still exist when life returns to normal.

I want to thank every one who has supported me through this long journey. I want to thank those that came to my launch, and those that didn’t.

I want to wish everyone safety, mental health and financial security over the coming months.