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Media frenzy over blind woman's novel story
BLIND author Trish Vickers told how she was caught in a worldwide media frenzy after her story was revealed in the Dorset Echo.
The Echo revealed exclusively on Wednesday how police forensic sleuths retrieved 26 pages of Trish’s debut novel after her pen ran out of ink without her realising.
The story went global on television, the internet, radio and national newspapers as well being followed up regional and local media.
Shocked Trish, 59, who lives in Charmouth, said: “It was manic. The phone didn’t stop all day. There was radio, TV and it went on the front of the Telegraph newspaper.
“I had mega-amounts of calls all through the day. It was mindblowing.”
Trish added: “I wanted to tell the local newspaper to say thanks to the police and promote them.
“But it went ballistic and I found myself at the centre of a worldwide media frenzy.”
Trish, 59, who used to run the Bridport gift shop Zoot Allures in South Street, has diabetes and lost her sight seven years ago. She took up writing to keep her mind active.
She doesn’t type or use computers but has a system of elastic bands that guide her to keep lines straight and she has a volunteer helper who comes in and types up her work.
Her son Simon comes over once a week to her Charmouth home and reads her work to her.
She was particularly looking forward to one of his visits because she had been inspired and had written 26 pages in one go for her debut novel Grannifer’s Legacy.
But Simon had to break the news to her that there was nothing on the paper because her pen had ran out.
They contacted forensic experts at Dorset Police who used their own time to read the words with a system of lights to track the indentations left by her pen.
The story also made The Sun, the BBC, The Daily Mail online, Dublin Radio and websites around the world.
They included America-based NBC, the Huffington Post, Canada News and Australian Women’s Weekly as well as Weird World News and the Mary Sue Guide to Girl Geek Culture.
Among the 114,000 listings under Trish’s name on Google was a fierce debate on the forum message boards of Soccer 24-7 about whether the story was real.
Trish’s novel, Grannifer’s Legacy, is about a character called Jennifer whose life implodes – she loses her job, her boyfriend and worst of all her namesake great-grandmother who has always been her guide.
Trish said: “It is an inspiration to get it finished now and get it published.”