What’s it like to be an author in lockdown?

Initially, I didn’t think it would be too bad. There wasn’t a huge difference between lockdown and my normal lifestyle – long hours in one room, poor nutrition, no social contact of any kind – I could do that.

However – there’s a lot of difference between staying in voluntarily and being told to stay in.  A month or so in and I was beginning to gnaw at my desk. And I’ve had my eyes tested already this year so I couldn’t even fall back on the ‘Well, I think there’s something wrong with my eyes so I’ll just go on a thirty-mile drive,’ excuse which seems to be so fashionable these days.

Anyway, I’ve beavered away for the last four months – mostly in an effort to save my sanity but I am slightly worried it’s had the opposite effect. I have just about finished Another Time Another Place. I’m on the finals stretch of Long Shadows (book three in the Elizabeth Cage series - due out October 2021). I’ve literally just finished the edits to Joy to the World. The Ordeal of the Haunted Room is edited and the edits for Hard Time turn up on the 6th July. I admit it’s been hard. Harder that I thought it would be. In fact, I had a complete meltdown a couple of weeks ago and had to be talked to quite sternly.

Then, of course, just as I’m wandering around the flat, enveloped in a miasma of Imposter Syndrome – and yes, that is a thing before anyone asks. It’s when you’re convinced you’re rubbish and it’s only a matter of time before the world finds out and you’re subjected to national and international humiliation and all your readers ask for their money back. Believe me, I can really do that one – especially at three o’clock in the morning – then I open my laptop to discover Another Time Another Place has whizzed straight to Number One in Time Travel on Amazon – thank you very much, everyone – and suddenly the world seems a much brighter place. And I can legitimately take the afternoon off. And I have a couple of good books to read. And most importantly, there’s a giant bar of Swiss chocolate hidden under the cushion just over there. I don’t even have to get up …

PS: you can also pre-order a signed copy of Another Time, Another place by clicking HERE.


  • Rebecca Taylor

    I’ve never resonated with a character so strongly in my life – I’m a history major, short and near sighted, even the jokes about infrequent bathroom visits lol. Max is my heroine and all of the characters are so wonderfully complex and then history!! “All of history like a shining river”… amazing. Please don’t ever doubt yourself for a minute!

  • Lesley Herriot

    None of us would ever think you’re rubbish, humiliate you or ask for our money back. We value you far too much for that. I’m really pleased you’ve got chocolate as I’ve been worrying for 3 months that you might have run out and stopped you writing. I always love a bargain with books but for you I’d happily pay double (or my children would as you are always first on my Christmas and birthday lists. Oh, and is it worth pointing out that Hotel Chocolat at Clarks Village have a huge sale and somehow I managed to get a huge bagful for very little money the other day.

  • Constantina Mead

    We are climbing the walls here as well. The two things saving my sanity are my having workspace with a door so I can completely ignore my beloved during the workday, he’s loud and grumpy sounding during online meetings, and our favorite pizza joint and Chinese restaurant finally being allowed to do takeout, because I’m so tired of my own cooking.

    Having read everything you write (except the Elizabeth Cage books because the first chapters scared me out of sleeping, I can assure you I won’t ever be asking for a refund. 😁

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