Hazel McHaffie

Midlothian Advertiser

A novel idea

Not a lot to report of interest in the publication process at this stage – the work of promotion involves lots of emails and letters and phonecalls and the occasional interview. Not the stuff of riveting reports, then. Yawn, yawn. No spectacular coverage in Hello magazine; no prime time interview on TV’s Breakfast show; no six-figure deal through a top literary agent; no glorious battle for rights at the London Book Fair. Even I have to set myself timetables to ensure that I don’t lose momentum, and that I apply myself a few hours every day to the mundane practicalities, gaining readers one by one.

So imagine my surprise to find my face on the front page of a newspaper yesterday!

Cover of newspaperWith a bright red caption in keeping with that red stilletto shoe! Yeah!

And there on page 7 a full article (with a different photo) talking about my use of fiction to highlight important issues thrown up by modern medicine.

Inside newspaper article

Now, as anyone knows who’s ever been interviewed, it’s terribly easy for one’s words to be distorted and convey a completely different meaning. This time half an hour of questions and answers has been condensed into 13 short paragraphs, so inevitably comments and connections have been omitted, other phrases repeated to preface a paragraph, losing the overall smooth flow of conversation to staccato reporting. But hats off to the reporter, Kevin Quinn, who captured the kernel of what I try to do: make medical ethical issues accessible and increase understanding and empathy.

Hold back the hordes … form an orderly queue for copies of Inside of Me, guys!

OK, OK, OK, I know. It’s only the local paper, the Midlothian Advertiser. But I’m chuffed that this particular reporter was interested enough in mental health to feature the news item as he did. That’s what it’s all about.



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