Guest post: Charity Norman, author of See You in September

I’m so pleased to welcome Charity Norman today to Sam Still Reading! Charity is the author of See You in September and many other wonderful books – if you like Jodi Picoult, you will love her novels! Today she’s talking about working from home – something that I’m useless at!

Hiding on the cliffs

Sometimes, working from home can be tricky. Phone calls, emails, visitors, conversations with husband and children – even cats demanding attention – may only take ten minutes but some days they seem never-ending. Also, I’m easily distracted by the internet. I think I’ll just take to see what’s happening in Brexit or the latest election, and half an hour later I’m still reading.

When I’m really desperate, I cancel all appointments and find a few days to head somewhere very remote. I have kind friends who lend me their cottage, perched high on the cliffs in a far-flung corner of Hawke’s Bay. I take plenty of coffee! It’s at the end of a gravel track, off the grid for power and water. There’s no phone, no internet, and for days at a time no sign of human life – just a lot of sheep. Sometimes I see the lights of a fishing boat in the darkness out at sea, or a container ship creeping along the horizon. When I get lonely, I walk up the hill and talk to a horse and a donkey who live there. The stars blaze across the night sky, utterly overwhelming. In the mornings – from my bed – I watch the sun rise over the Pacific. Walks are accompanied by the endless rumble of the waves.

The complete isolation always helps me through my writing crisis. I’ve achieved more in a week there than I would in a month at home. It was especially perfect for writing See You in September – a book about Gethsemane, a very isolated, self-sufficient community. As the days passed in my hermitage, Gethsemane became more and more real, and the characters were my only companions. I think I was a little inculcated – I even began to feel I had to keep the Gethsemane rules! But by the time I drove away down the long gravel track, I’d finished that dreaded second draft.

Many thanks Charity! See you in September by Charity Norman is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available now. You can buy through:




…or your favourite book retailer.

You can catch up with Charity in many different ways:

Do drop in for the rest of the blog tour! Here are the dates:



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