I have to say that I’m beyond delighted to have such a warm response to Hayefield Manor. I also want to acknowledge the reviewers who have been so open to my unique style of writing, to the very different way I show character, and the very, very different way I tell a story.
It’s strange that I find myself stuttering when I try to get across to someone who has taken the time and energy to be positive and patient, interested and open enough to read my work. It often gives me a boost in the same way I hope it gave the reader a boost to enjoy Sophie and Morgan’s story.
Buy Hayefield Manor at the Bedazzled Book Peddler
As I’ve said before, being different is a difficult path. Choosing to follow my heart creatively and to unwittingly be non-conforming has led to many tears, a lot of heartbreak, frustration and confusion as it’s a big risk when writing provides my income.
But, I believe a story is worth the hard parts, the copious sweating, the absolute obsession with the details of the characters and stories and the blind passion to stand by them even when I’m not feeling the full cup of tea upstairs. I believe, that even if only three people read it, a book should always be re-readable with multi-faceted plots and levels for readers to enjoy and so I really do give my absolute best.
So, that’s why when reviewers [LESBIreviewed and Kitty Kat’s Book Review Blog] and readers, friends or colleagues give me a cheer, it means a lot. It does what Hayefield did for Morgan, gives me the injection of positivity to keep performing to my best ability, keep trying to develop as a writer and produce a better book each time.
The Lesbian Review: Hayefield Manor by Jody Klaire: Book Review
That’s sometimes hard in an often business-focused field where sales figures are often more important; where ‘powerful people’ decide if you are ‘saleable’ as a ‘product’ (vicariously through your book) without often realising that the poor person sitting in front of them has so much invested in their book.
There was an incredibly kind ‘powerful person’ when I began writing (but as I’m always observant of discretion, instead of her name I’ll stick to pronouns.) A lady that even when sense might have warned her to dismiss me quickly, took the time and the energy to actually talk to me. Like Sophie, she utterly terrified me, but without being mean at all, but she had this presence, confidence and assured patience. The closest way I can describe is like a young hopeful athlete meeting a highly respected coach (which is what I will ‘dub’ her for the blog.)
I remember the hard lessons when Coach didn’t like a book and made me go away and write a better one because she had every belief in me that I could. I responded to it because my late uncle (whom I absolutely adored) coached me the same way when he taught me to sing. (He was a highly respected singing coach whose students have their own academies teaching his methods.)
My coach taught me that there were two ways of thinking when it came to books, those who believed you needed to be at an elite level on your debut novel and those who believed that it was more about upping your level and improving with each book but that a book should always be at a level expected from the very top trade publishers.
Sophie’s appearance is inspired by Coach in lots of ways but it was the kindness of a busy top-level professional to talk to a twenty-nine year old kid who’d lost their police career, music career, in declining health with diagnoses, no job and no real way to find or keep one. I’m not really sure she knew where I was when I met her but those chats with have been anchor points.
Although Coach is retired, I hold every professional in her field up against that yardstick and there aren’t many who come anywhere near. I only hope that, if Coach has read any of my books, she can see that I’m still working hard because that’s probably the most vital part of any process… and hopefully, she enjoys that she’s lent inspiration to a character who (although very different) shows kindness unexpected of her position and by doing so, gave someone struggling the boost they needed to find belief in themselves.
So, thank you to Coach and thank you to the reviewers who’ve given me a renewed boost. I hope I somehow showed it means a lot. It truly does.