Sometimes in the borderlands, Claire and I felt like authors. The way we were invited into people’s homes, the way we were recommended to seek out others. When people heard we were doing radio programmes, a stream of invitations followed.
“This is what it must be like for authors, researching their next book,” I said.
“Only we’re not writing a book,”said Claire.
A blog site has nooks and crannies for stories and perches for anecdotes. But a book? Book writing is not a part of what we do.
“So how come you did write a book?” you ask.
“Well, one day a package arrived.”
“Well, opposite my home in Devon there is this stone barn. For two months each summer, a lady called Thelma, lives there. And each winter it attracts tenants; interesting people, musicians, families, couples with dogs. Two years ago a writer came there to live with her partner. Thelma emailed me that she was writer, Anna Hope. I heard her interviewed on radio 4 and posters of her face filled the plate glass windows of Totnes bookshops.
Anna, Anna Hope, novelist, writer, author.
I saw her very little, but I noticed her regime. By 2pm everyday her car would be gone. I imagined her passing the afternoons with her partner at a cafe in Totnes.
One day around the time of the launch of her novel Wake she was out and I was in. So our postman had me sign for a brown paper package. By its weight and feel, I knew what it was. First name Anna, second name Hope. I wished it was for me. I turned it over in my hands. Random House, USA.
The package gave me the power to write.”
– Anna Keleher