Hitchin author of critically-acclaimed bestseller The Note Zoe Folbigg says: It's been surreal since my story went viral
PUBLISHED: 19:13 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 19:34 30 November 2017
Danny Loo Photography 2017
It’s been a hectic few months for talented Hitchin author Zoe Folbigg after the launch of her critically-acclaimed bestseller The Note.
Read on for what life has been like in her own words for the popular mum of two since her book was released by her publishers to huge success as she reveals the inside story of what it was like to be interviewed by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ITV’s This Morning...
Zoe: I’ve got a lot to thank Phillip Schofield for. Not just for entertaining me with broom cupboard banter with his buddy Gordon the Gopher on kids’ TV in the 80s, but one day, two months ago, he kinda changed my life.
I was pleased enough to have been offered a two-book digital deal from a publisher Aria: my debut book, The Note, based on the story of how I met my husband Mark on the 8.21am train from Hitchin to King’s Cross, was due out on Kindle and iBooks this autumn, and I knew there would be a bit of promotional work to do to help drive sales.
I got a phone call from my agent one Monday in mid-September. “Will you go on This Morning tomorrow to talk about the book?”
I was terrified and nervous, but how could I say no? Any author would be lucky to have that kind of opportunity, how could I, a debut author writing between the school run, say no?
The next morning I found myself in the surreal situation of sitting with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby in the This Morning studio on live TV, chatting about The Note and the back story behind it. They were lovely. He said it’s the best story he’d read in ages. Within hours, pre-orders had helped me fly up the Amazon charts and two days later my publisher said the response had been so positive, they had decided to print my book in time for Christmas.
I couldn’t believe it. I was super chuffed with my digital deal, but my dream was always to have a physical paperback in my hands, on the shelf in Waterstones, or for loan at Hitchin Library, the library I grew up in; where I still take my sons.
After I appeared on This Morning my story went viral. The New York Post picked it up and called for a movie version of it. Channel 9 News in Sydney were talking about “Train Man”, the hero in my book. I got 8,000 Instagram followers practically overnight. BBC World News, the World Service and 5 Live called me in for interviews. Metro and Sky News soon followed. One day I was at Hitchin Swimming Centre, watching my boys in their lesson, and I had a message to say I was on the homepage of BBC News. I looked down from the pool at my phone. It was insane.
This was not the coverage I expected for my quiet fable about following your heart, but soon I was getting streams of messages from the Philippines to Peru; Argentina to Australia: people saying my story – about how Maya plucks up the courage to give a stranger on a train a note asking him out for a drink, and the consequences of that – had resonated with them. That it had inspired them to do a quiet act of bravery themselves.
Last month I celebrated the launch of my paperback and it’s bubbling nicely in the charts. But here I am, back at my kitchen table between the school run, writing book two, and grateful to Phillip Schofield and the kindness of strangers closer to home: in town, in the library, at the gym – who have been supportive of my story. I’m very thankful.
To buy The Note click here.