What a Year!

The release of my fifth book has been a little different from my others as it was pushed forward while we’re living through a pandemic.

I’ve been vocal in the past about the pros and cons of being an Indie (as opposed to Traditional Publishing), and as awful as this time has been, I was at an advantage as I could use the sudden surplus of time on my hands to get it ready to go. I write easy-reading, rom-com fiction and with the pubs closed and holidays cancelled, it’s a good time for my genre, but this comes with its own guilt. It doesn’t always feel right to be benefitting when times are so hard for so many.

On the flip side, there are so many benefits to reading that it’s been a pleasure to provide light-hearted escapism during this time. Mental stimulation, stress relief, increasing empathy; the positives of reading are arguably more important than ever right now, which is why I was happy to bring my release date forward.

New Rules is modern tale of two women at the opposite end of the career ladder. Both Kate and Ellie have their own relationships dramas within the book, but the main story follows both women through injustices and prejudices in the workplace.

The idea for New Rules came from a previous role I had, some years back, as the Inclusion & Diversity lead for a large company. Equality is something that I’ve always been passionate about, and while I & D and Corporate Social Responsibility are, rightly so, written into policy and displayed on every big companies’ homepage for all to see, there are still far too many who see this as a tick-box exercise and not the top-down strive for a real change that it should be.

We’ve seen the Black Lives Matter movement back in the spotlight during this time, and book sales related to the struggle for equality have soared as people use this time to try to understand how we can be better allies.

It’s not just non-fiction that people are turning to in a bid to better their understanding. One of the top lockdown reads has been Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. The chick-lit genre is sometimes underestimated as just a space for stereotypical boy-meets-girl romcoms, but the beauty of the genre is its ability to bring serious issues to the table in an entertaining and manageable way. As cliched as it is, laughter really is the best medicine.

I’ll be sharing some of my favourite lockdown reads at CafeThinking in August, but for now, stay safe all.

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