I’m so excited to be in this impressive company! Publication of Larchfield is still a way off, but it is wonderful to see responses to the book in advance. I worked on it for so long, with no response to what I was writing at all (such is the life of the writer). The central idea of the book, that two apparently unconnected people (WH Auden and my fictional writer, Dora) would cross time to be together, was challenged all the time in my own head as I was writing. The little voices said, But who cares about Dora! Auden is famous! Write about just him! OR: Seriously, Polly, these two have NOTHING in common, why are you driving them together? OR: GIVE UP ON THIS CRAZY PROJECT YOU CRAZY PERSON.
Being a crazy person, I persisted, and when, in the writing, the deep connection these two characters have became apparent, I could have wept with joy. This is of course, in the end, the only real compensation for writing at all, that the inexpressible something you are giving chase to at last becomes real in your hands.
This was still a long way before the book as it is now. But it is little short of miraculous to me that advance responses to the book have shown understanding, acceptance and dare I say it even love of that central idea, that at the time seemed almost too strange, too difficult to give voice to.