Light at the End of the Tunnel

The piece in INSIDE SOAP magazine.

During the Covid-19 lockdown I thought it was very important to remain busy. Although I stay at home and write most of the time anyway, there’s a strange psychological impact this situation has on everyone. It’s the simple things. Like just feeling you can go out to the bank, or call in a coffee shop or cafe for lunch to break up the day. The worst is not being able to see family and friends as you want to. Like most, I’m eating too much and procrastinating so much more than I usually do.

When this started I was faced with the prospect that my newly released thriller, THE STRANGER IN OUR BED, was going to flop because all of my events were, quite rightly, cancelled. Despite knowing it was all for the best, this was pretty depressing. Writers are very much judged by booksellers and the world on their latest title, especially how it sells, and as this novel is a thriller and my first title from HarperCollins, it was so important to me that it succeeded. That was the biggest problem: the book couldn’t possibly do well in the current climate. I noticed how other, established and bestselling authors’ titles were being pushed back to later in 2020 or even to 2021. If the publishers needed to do that for their ‘superstars’ then what chance did I have? Despite this, I pushed myself on and completed my next book, because, what else can you do?

Even so, in these very grim times, positive news keeps finding it’s way to me. And boy is it helping!!

At the end of March I learnt that THE STRANGER IN OUR BED was a USA TODAY bestseller. Last week I signed two contracts – news on that when I can. And this week, Denise Welch (Loose Women Presenter) tweeted a picture of herself reading my book!

After this piece of great news I discovered that INSIDE SOAP MAGAZINE had listed the book on the ‘Top Picks’ page in this week’s magazine! Wow!

This morning, my husband, David, stumbled on a Publisher’s Weekly listing for Apple’s Bestsellers from 22nd March 2020. THE STRANGER IN OUR BED was No 20 on their Mystery and Crime list and I didn’t know!

Thanks also to two local newspapers the Sleaford Standard and Lincolnshire Echo, who in the last week have both run stories about the success of the book. We need positivity right now more than ever!

Denise Welch with a copy of the book!

What’s brought me so much happiness this week too, are the fantastic pictures people have been sharing on my Facebook page – THE STRANGER IN OUR BED in ‘Everyone’s’ beds. And I’ve absolutely loved it! I will be doing some kind of competition for this I think, and definitely will also put together a collage of all of the pictures.

It’s hard to see it, but I’m trying to keep my eye on that light at the end of the tunnel we are all in. For those of you out there that are struggling, we will get through this. Focus on every good thing that happens no matter how big, or small. The smile of your child, the kiss of your partner, the facetime giggles with friends, the daft memes and videos that are being banded about. We need those laughs and joy right now!

As for me I’m now working on yet another thriller which is currently at 14,197 words … it hasn’t been easy to keep the momentum going but I’m doing my best.

Stay well, be safe and see you on the other side!

Sam xx