It is an open letter to the readers and comes at the end of Volume VI. I think it adequately conveys how I feel.
But I wonder if you are left uneasy that you do not know how things will ultimately work out for them?
So just in case you do, I would like to reassure you that they continue to face their tribulations in life, as indeed we all do but from the end of this volume, their road becomes a little smoother, a little less fraught and climactic!
Now to tell you about Saturday!
The shopping centre was busy and there was a lot of interest in my books. Sales were high and it was lovely to speak to readers of all ages.
But that's not what I wanted to tell you about. What I want to tell you is far, far stranger...
First of all I was approached by some old friends whom I haven't seen properly in a few years as they were originally friends of an old ex-partner from twenty years ago. We exchanged pleasantries and then promised to meet up at Christmas.
Some time later, I had a further revelation.
Stationed as I was by the side of a broken elevator, I was addressed by a stunning woman who initially turned to me to enquire how she could get to the upper floor.
But on turning around to answer her question, I triggered a recognition on her part.
"Carmen!" she exclaimed. "Don't you recognise me?"
Now the truth is that I speak to so many people and in so many different places that although I often remember a face, I cannot always put a name to it.
But there was something about her which was incredible familiar!
It turned out that she was my ex-sister-in-law from over twenty years ago, when that same ex as mentioned above, had been my current partner.
We had both been young women at the time and although once she revealed her identity to me, it seemed ridiculous that I should not immediately identify her, as we had been in each others' lives for eight years, it also seemed a ridiculously long time ago.
We talked and caught up on how life had been for us in the intervening years and there was a warmth between us that I don't ever remember feeling away back then.
It seemed that life had mellowed us both and the former rivalry that I remember so well, had crumbled into the dust of time.
And it made me wonder why we had ever been rivals in the first place!
With a melancholy sadness in my heart I watched her depart. She was a part of my old life and had no place in my here-and-now but it was strange to hear about the family I had once been a part of and no longer was. [There's a book in there - just wait!]
But the day was to get even stranger.
Some time after she left, a very ordinary but well presented gentleman approached me.
"You have some clairvoyance in you," he declared, eyeing me with his head cocked to one side as if peering into my very soul.
I didn't know at first whether he was referring to the plots within my books and how they could so easily come to pass, or whether it was something deeper.
"Well..." I responded unsure what to say.
"I know you do, because I have some too!" he said.
And you know what I thought? I thought ok, crackpot alert!
But then he said some things about me and my life which really made me wonder, because they referred to things which had actually come to pass.
So between seeing long lost in-laws and this man, I had a rather strange day.
I made great sales and had a good time but there was also that sense of the Ghost Of Christmas Past, courtesy of all my visitors and I began to feel the whole thing was more than a little spooky...
So this Saturday, when I am doing signings in WHSmith in Birmingham, if you once brought a cat to the vet's I used to work in, or bought one of my old houses, perhaps it might be best NOT to tell me...I might just freak out entirely and run away screaming.
Because if the Ghost of Christmas past keeps turning up, I dread to think what the Ghost of Christmas Future is going to show me!
Merry Christmas folks and Happy New Year!
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