Two lonely people.
One note in the window.
And what happens when they reach out…
Lachlan Wallace is stuck at home after a car accident stalled his army career. With months of physiotherapy still to endure and only his rescue dog and cat for company, he’s taken to gazing out of the window, watching the world spin on without him. And then he notices a vase of flowers on the windowsill of the apartment opposite his. Drawn to their hope and colour, he decides to reach out and sticks a message in his window…
Bethan Gwynne is a stranger in a new town. Bringing up her son Noah by herself, she is slowly rebuilding her life, but loneliness is one obstacle she has yet to overcome. She’s intrigued by a glimpse of her neighbour in the apartment across from hers – and then, one evening, she sees a message in his window just for her:
WHAT ARE THOSE FLOWERS CALLED?
And so begins a love story of two people reaching out, daring to trust a stranger…
I am a six-times Sunday Times Bestselling author of ten books, have been shortlisted twice for RNA awards (for Novel of the Year in 2010 with Fairytale of New Yorkand again in 2012 for Contemporary Novel of the Year for It Started With a Kiss), have been published in fifteen languages and been a bestseller in four countries, have sold a million books and still can’t believe all of the above has happened to me!
I always wanted to be a writer. My first ambition was to write a book worthy of display on the shelves of wonderful Kingswinford Library (which, at the time, was not much bigger than somebody’s living room, but to wide-eyed five-and-a-half year old me was a palace of dreams). Consequently, my childhood and teens were filled with lots and lots of ‘Chapter Ones’ and grand schemes for amazing stories that would set the world alight (if only I could write more than one chapter of them).
Then someone at sixth form college suggested that writing books was ‘childish’. So I stopped writing. It was a daft thing to do, but for the next ten years I didn’t write, choosing to believe the Sayers of Doom instead of listening to what my heart was telling me to do.
Fast-forward to 2001, when a lovely friend gave me a very old, reconditioned PC (which I was later to immortalise as Old F the coffee machine in my debut novel, Fairytale of New York). There was something about messing about on a computer keyboard that kickstarted ideas in my brain and one day I wrote a paragraph that began: This city is not mine by birthright… Seven years later, after one fatal PC crash, a very embarrassing email to a dodgy ex (who I’d sent the story so far to, asking for him to send me the chapters I’d lost) and a fantastically scary friend called Lindsey who wanted to read more than I had written, that paragraph had become Coffee at Kowalski’s – a novel I uploaded onto Authonomy.com which, amazingly, was spotted by an editor at AVON (HarperCollins) and published as Fairytale of New York in 2009.
Fairytale became an instant bestseller, reaching number 8 in the Sunday Times Bestsellers List and staying in the top 10 for five weeks. To date, it has sold over 150,000 copies (I thought it would be awesome if it sold 500, so you can imagine my shock when it passed the 100k mark…)
My next five novels, Welcome to My World, It Started With a Kiss, When I Fall in Love, Take A Look At Me Now and I’ll Take New York have all become top 20 Sunday Times Bestsellers, followed by A Parcel for Anna Browne, Searching for a Silver Lining, Christmas in St Ives (an ebook novella and prequel to Somewhere Beyond the Sea), Somewhere Beyond the Sea and The Day We Meet Again. To date, I have sold over one million books worldwide. I am also the founder of WriteFoxy – offering a whole host of resources for writers at all stages of their writing careers, including inspiration days, online resources, vlogs and more to be announced soon. I’ve been vlogging about writing and my books since 2010 and you can watch them and subscribe to my channel HERE.
One note for you, if you’re a writer: the dream is possible. It happened for me, so it can happen for you. Never stop believing and never stop creating awesome word-worlds for people to wander through. And if you’d like to know more about writing (or anything else), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Follow Miranda's vlog at www.youtube.com/mirandawurdy
Visit her website: miranda-dickinson.com
Follow Miranda on Twitter: @wurdsmyth,
On Instagram: @wurdsmyth
On Facebook: MirandaDickinsonAuthor
A budding friendship that is triggered by an innocuous question about a vase of flowers. We meet single parent Bethan as she works the clock around painting a flat before moving in with her son Noah and Lachlan who lives in the flat opposite with Ernie & Bert his rescue cat and dog.
Bethan is hoping for a fresh start with Noah and dreams of a better life for her and him. Hoping this new flat will be the catalyst to a better future. Lachlan is obviously recovering from an accident and he comes across as hard and angry. Both have a back story that we have no idea about, both of their characters and actions raise questions.
Both of them have independantly observed each other from a far, each wondering about the other. Bethan had noticed Lachlan’s cat sat basking on the windowsill and a tattooed arm stroking it - this sets off a wonder - she’s intrigued and would like to know the story behind the tattoo’s. Lachlan notices a bunch of flowers in the window of his new neighbour, and decides to post a question in his window asking what they are - what they turn out to be are a catalyst. A catalyst to a journey of self discovery, hurt, anguish and eventually self awareness and friendship. A single note becomes a series of notes and questions. Each one pushing them outside of their comfort zone, forging a bond that’s safe and secure - each safe in their own flat.
This was such a beautiful read, both Bethan and Lachlan's hearts and lives were so tangled in their own back stories, both were complex, heart rendering and sad. I was cheerleading from the sidelines, urging them on to gain courage and confidence, to build a proper friendship based on trust. They proved their own worst enemy time and again, the inner voices in their heads beating a tattoo that didn’t match the actual spoken words. Each translating the words they heard into a totally different meaning. For every step forward they took, they seemed to tumble two back. Self esteem, self believe and trust for both of them were fragile and shattered.
But, Miranda Dickinson sprinkled her magic, and as emotional as it was at times it was just beautiful to be a fly on the wall and watch as they each grew in strength and character - each fighting their own demons, needing to heal and grow before being able to cement a friendship on an equal footing.
As much as this was a heartfelt, at times emotional read, the back stories raw it was also hopeful and uplifting at the same time. There was shining moments to counter the darker moments. As the story ended it wasn’t just Beth and Lachlan that had gone full circle, each stronger and happier, I too was left with a lighter heart and a smile on my face. Thank you, Miranda for yet another beautiful story centred around real life, open, honest characters, trust, love and friendship delivered in your usual sensitive, kind, straight-forward style - just perfect - I loved every single page.