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I woke this morning thinking of Christmas in York, 1992, a few weeks after The Apothecary Rose sold to St Martin’s and they expressed interest in a series. I was walking on air. My husband and I took a number of photos on Christmas morning, while the city was quiet. My favorite is his photo of a frozen rose bud in the minster yard. We also took the author photo that appeared on the US hardcover that day, me standing just without Bootham Bar, wearing a grey beret I still love. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric photo, just the thing for a mystery. Whenever I look at it I can feel how incredibly cold I was–we’d been out for hours in a freezing fog. But I didn’t mind, I was just so happy that I now had an excuse to spend as much time as I could in York. It is still one of my favorite places. Each time I’m there I find new delights and make new friends. It truly feels like my second home.

And it’s all been made possible by you, my readers. A series takes off because of the readers–you are the ones who make it happen. So this Christmas Eve I give thanks to you. You’ve been such delightful companions, writing to me about your favorite characters, asking after their health, suggesting places to explore in Yorkshire and beyond, telling me about people in your lives who are so like a particular character, and always urging me to keep writing. (And I am, I assure you.)

THANK YOU! May you all be blessed with good health and warm companions during this holiday season, and may 2013 be filled with wonder.

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