Pack “The Note” by Zoë Folbigg for a Love Story to Read On the Way
to Your Next Trip: A Book Review & Author Interview
Who doesn’t love a love story? I saw the author Zoë’s interview and immediately went to my Amazon app to buy the book. Just hearing her talk about it, I was sold and wanted nothing more than to support the book and her writing work.
The Note is such a gentle story that made all of my worries vanish as I drifted into the neverland of its pages. It tells the story of a woman named Maya who notices a new commuter board her train to London. Maya finally gets the courage to pass the guy she has been admiring a note and ask him out for a drink and there the tangled tale really begins.
I have spent many times on a commuter train myself, and Zoe’s observations of the fellow passengers resonated with me. I could relate to them so much, haha. People are creatures of habit, typically getting on the same carriage and trying to sit in the same seats every day. It becomes someone’s daily routine. I have met some very lovely people on my commute—some of whom are now my friends. When you take the same train, at the same time every day with passengers who do the same, they become familiar faces that you miss when you notice they are not on that commute with you that day.
Reading this book, there were so many times I laughed—like serious (LOL)
moments. It’s definitely a very lovely and heart warming “aww” story and I will definitely be reading the squeal. One of the things that sticks with me even now after reading this book is how the character Maya (inspired by Zoë’s real-life story (read below!)) took a chance. She seized a moment and an opportunity and it’s such a great reminder that whether it’s love, business, work, life, or travel…it’s important to muster up the courage and
seize the moments.
The Note is the perfect feel-good read while you’re on your commute or traveling to or from your next trip. It’s also just the perfect read to curl up to at home and get pulled into the romance. And—as a special treat—the author, Zoë Folbigg, was so generous to do an author interview with me. Check out the interview below and learn more about the book
and writing of it.
What led you to write The Note?
I’ve been a writer for women’s magazines for years, but I always felt I had a novel in me too. Whenever the subject came up of how I met my husband on a train, or if I wrote about how we met in a magazine or newspaper, people would say it sounded like a novel. Eventually I thought I’d give it a go and try to achieve my career dream. I didn’t know it would be a bestseller: but like in real life, with giving a handsome stranger on a train a note, I always think that if you don’t give something a shot, you’ll never know.
How did writing this book change you?
It taught me to be resilient – to jump hurdles that seemed impossible and knock on doors that had been shut in my face. It made me more disciplined with my writing. I had two young babies when I was writing most of The Note, and I didn’t even know it would be published, so I really had to work hard when they were napping and keep the faith, in writing and in myself. And it’s changed my life: I’m now an author, embarking on my fifth book.
What message do you want readers to walk away with?
To be brave. To make a little leap out of your comfort zone. To strive for what you want. As long as you do it in a kind and polite way, I think there is nothing wrong with going for your dream. I suppose the publishing journey echoed the journey of how I met my husband: rejection and setbacks along the way, but little moments of bravery can change everything and we can help nudge fate along.
What was your favourite chapter to write?
I loved writing the scenes with Velma in them – she’s a sage seventy-something friend to the protagonist Maya, and I just loved that Velma was a trailblazer who had travelled the world and lived in all these amazing places. She’s the kind of woman I would like to be at that age: confident, opinionated, outspoken, kind and wise. Writing Velma was so much fun.
Which chapter was the most difficult to write?
There wasn’t one particular chapter, but I did find it difficult when I was writing “up” Maya. Because she’s based on me and her story is based on my real life, I sometimes struggled when I was singing Maya’s praises, as if people would think I was being conceited, or I thought these amazing things about myself. Which I wasn’t, but I did want Maya to be cool and kickass, so I had to just bite my tongue and try to remember she is a character, and not actually me, and then I could run away with it a bit more.
Do you have a favourite writing place, playlist, or spot? If so, tell us about them…
My favourite writing “space” is at my kitchen table, when everyone is out! In the days before covid, I would take my sons to school, go for a little run and think about what I was going to write that day, then go home, shower, and write all the way through until school pick-up. It’s harder at the moment as I’m never home alone, my kids aren’t at school and my husband is working from home. But it’s harder for other people so I’m not complaining. I’m looking at buying a writing shed for the bottom of the garden so I have a little haven to write in! As music goes, I can’t really
listen to it when I’m writing as it distracts me, but I listen to quite a lot of Latin pop to galvanise me on my runs!
My readers love to travel, tell me are you a travel lover? What’s your favourite place you’ve been to?
I love to travel! I first went backpacking at 18 to Australia and New Zealand; I lived in Spain and Mexico; then “Train Man” and I went travelling for a whole year before we got married – to Southeast Asia, India, Australia and Central America. I have so many favourite places: The Gili Islands in Indonesia; the vast expanse of Argentina; the colours of Mexico.
And most recently South Africa. We went on a family holiday last year to Cape Town and then on safari to Pilanesberg and Madikwe. Everything about that holiday was amazing: the food, the landscape, the wildlife, the people. Walking up Table Mountain with my husband and sons and taking in the view at the top was one of the happiest days of my life.
Needless to say, travel seeps into my books. The Note is quite London-centric because it’s about falling in love on a commute to work, but my books after that, The Distance, The Postcard and The Night We Met (coming out next February), have lots of exotic, sweeping locations, and I hope readers feel immersed in the sights and smells of the countries as they’re reading them. Especially right now, when lots of my readers are stuck at home and can’t travel.
There you have it! Thanks so much Zoë for taking us behind-the-scenes of this book.
Grab a copy of The Note at your favorite local book store, library, or on Amazon here.
And follow the author on Instagram at @zoefolbigg
Watch for more must-pack books and reviews soon.
November 3, 2020