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85 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Zibba George says:

    Hi Hannah! I’m Charlotte (Foster’s) aunt and have just bought your book from Amazon. Met you at C & Tim’s wedding last year. Anyway, well done you and I look forward to reading your words and hopefully seeing the DVD too!

    Love Zibba xxxx

  2. Sarah Roberts says:

    I saw your book recommended in the window of the Hill of Contentment bookshop on Darling Street as being by a Balmain author. I really enjoyed it, as did my husband, which surprised me just a little. We took it to Sydney (from the UK) on our most recent visit and left it with our daughter in Lilyfield. I have now bought two more copies for two nieces for Christmas.

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Sarah,
      I probably walked past you on Darling Street when you were here! Thank you for getting in touch – and for supporting my book. I do hope your nieces enjoy it. And thank you for your additional comment – I took you at your word and didn’t print it here – but it is definitely noted. 😉 Very best wishes,

  3. Jessica Wilkinson says:

    Hello Hannah,
    I recently finished reading your novel Secrets Of The Tides and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I don’t normally read a book without someone recommending it to me first, but once I spotted this story in Waterstones, I just had to read it.
    I live in England and I am also an aspiring writer, I am currently trying to find representation and the process is beginning to weigh me down because it’s so overwhelming.
    As a published author I can very much imagine your stress and how busy you are. However I am drowning fast and would love a chance to ask you a couple questions.
    If you have any time on your hands I would absolutely appreciate the opportunity of talking to someone who has achieved everything I want to achieve.
    Best wishes for the next novel,
    Jessica Wilkinson

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I can sympathise with how you must be feeling – seeking representation can feel overwhelming and a little like a full-time job in itself! If it’s OK with you, I’ll respond to your google email address so you can contact me that way – it’s probably easier than chatting on the blog here.
      So glad you enjoyed Secrets of the Tides.

      All best,

  4. Rosy Stone says:

    Hi Hannah
    My daughter, Becky, is married to your stepbrother, Tim, and because of the personal connection and the fact that Secrets of the Tides looks so interesting, I have chosen it to discuss with my book group. Would you be willing to give us your views, if the discussion throws up questions?
    Best wishes
    Rosy Stone

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Rosy,
      How lovely to hear from you. I am excited you have chosen my book for your book club. If you don’t mind I’ll send you an email from my private email, but I would love to help out. I saw some beautiful photos of Penny from the christening. You must be a very proud Grandmother! H x

  5. Clare Chapple says:

    Dear Hannah
    I just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I enjoyed reading ‘Secrets of the Tides’. I got completely lost in it (which for me is the best thing you can say about a book!) and can easily understand why it was selected for the Richard and Judy book club. Thank you for a hugely enjoyable read. I look forward to escaping in the next one!
    I have just finished my first novel and am navigating the highly daunting process of trying to find a literary agent in the UK. I wondered if you had any advice at all and whether you would recommend your agency, Lutyens and Rubenstein? I’d like to try agents that represent authors whose work I admire!
    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer.

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Clare,
      Thanks so much for getting in touch. I’m very grateful for your kind comments AND, congratulations on completing your first novel – that’s very exciting. I can understand how you are feeling right about now but don’t be too daunted, it’s all about finding the right person who believes in your book and will champion it alongside you. I found the Writers’s & Artists’ Yearbook really helpful for tracking down agents and figuring out their submission guidelines and yes, I can recommend Lutyens & Rubinstein wholeheartedly. They are a small, boutique agency and the whole team there is fantastic. I count my blessings every day to have been offered representation with them. Good luck with it. It’s a long journey so remember to celebrate all the wins and good times along the way. Cheers, Hannah x

      • Clare Chapple says:

        Thank you so much, Hannah. You’ve no idea how wonderful it is to hear your words of encouragement! I look forward to having some wins to celebrate (at some point!) Thank you once again for a lovely read too and all the best with your own writing.

        Thank you so much

  6. Jackie Dowson says:

    Hi Hannah,
    My best friend gave me ‘secrets of the tides’ for my birthday in August last year. I have just found time to read it and finished it in record time. I wanted to say that you are an absolute master! I just couldn’t put it down, stealing every moment I had to read it. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the story and the Tide family. It took me a little bit to get into the story but once I got to know the characters I was hooked!!!! The way you have progressed through the lives of cassie, helen and dora and managed to tie it altogether at the end is outstanding. It is such an emotional journey where I cried many times, it evoked anger and yet there was this HOPE that it would all turn out for the best! I am still drowsy with fatigue from staying up late to read it! I have just purchased a copy for my sister’s birthday last week! Hope she enjoys it as much as I did! Congratulations and well done
    Can’t wait for your new book!!!!
    Thanks very much Jackie

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Jackie,
      I was just sitting here having a really ‘blah’ morning and up pops your lovely message on my blog. Thank you so much – you’ve transformed my day. It’s really lovely of you to get in touch and share your thoughts. I’m delighted you enjoyed Secrets. I hope your sister does too. I also hope you get an early night tonight … hate that foggy should’ve-gone-to-bed-way-earlier feeling 😉
      All best, Hannah x

      • Jackie Dowson says:

        Thanks for your reply Hannah you are a true inspiration! You too have ‘made’ my day, currently as a ‘stay at home mum’ with two toddlers and a million ideas in my head, you are a real example that anything is possible if you believe in yourself!
        take care enjoy your journey!

      • Hannah Richell says:

        Jackie – I was worried that becoming a mum would be the end of any career options for me, but it turns out it was just the start of a whole new direction for me. Enjoy your toddlers and your ideas. Exciting times. x

  7. Jackie Dowson says:

    Hi Hannah,
    Back again to give you my thanks for another fantastic book!! Wow, where to start? I have just finished reading The Shadow Year…. You had me hooked right from the beginning… the Honesty plant (I thought that that plant was a memory only I had from my grandma’s house in the 80’s) and the placental abruption (without giving too much away for other readers) (an experience I know all too well…a traumatic event but the outcome was a beautiful little girl who is almost 4). Your writing is like nothing I have ever encountered… each sentence is brilliantly constructed and the descriptions so realistic and believable! I really enjoy how you unfold the individual stories of the main characters and keep the reader intrigued by each unfolding event. Like with Secrets of the Tides and Clifftops, the cottage takes on its own identity with a story to tell. I liked the little clues you gave alluding to what actually happened but so controlled in the way each chapter only releases parts of the true story piece by piece. I have read and analysed many texts before but none as BRILLANT as yours. This story for me was like a badly knotted necklace chain. With patience and persistence, you tease the necklace turning it in your hands working at each knot, determined not to give up. Piece by piece you work at the knots slowly releasing them until at the end you have a beautifully crafted chain free from its restraints, yet not quite perfect. Closing the clasp the chain hangs to the centre weighted down by the HONESTY pendent, yet the chain won’t lie perfectly flat, a kink in the link is evidence that there has been damage. All the tangles and knots it has endured have changed its appearance and the kink a reminder of the unspoken truths.
    Thank you soooo Much PLEASE write another book soon!!! I have all my friends and Family hooked on both titles. More people need to read your stories and appreciate the fantastic author you are. Congrats Well done 😉

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Jackie

      Thank you so much for your WONDERFUL and GENEROUS comments. I love the necklace image – so clever – and I am thrilled you enjoyed The Shadow Year. I really do appreciate you taking the time to write to me, and for the endorsement and recommendation to your friends. I feel very lucky to have found a reader like you. I hope to have another story for you, but you may have to wait just a little while longer. The idea is there, it’s just the tricky job of getting it down onto the page now…

      With best wishes,
      Hannah x

      • Jackie Dowson says:

        Thanks for your reply Hannah, it means a lot that you take the time to read comments and respond! I cannot wait for the new book… whenever it hits the shelves. I now need to find something equally as brilliant as your books to read 🙂 hmmm a challenging task as you are such a hard act to follow!

  8. Deborah says:

    Hi Hannah
    I’ve recently finished reading ‘Secrets of the Tides’ and really loved it. Very insightfully written from all the different viewpoints and funnily enough, picked it up when I was back in Bridport, where my parents now live, so could identify with the beautiful scenery. Until recently, I too lived in Australia (husband’s an Aussie) but now we live in Abu Dhabi with our two little boys. Anyway, without meaning to tell you my life story :/ just wondered if you had any good advice for aspiring authors?! My friend and I wrote an e- book about Australia whilst we were living there but I would love any tips about how you plan and write your novels….namely, how do you choose your subject matter and do you devise comprehensive plot/chapter outlines or prefer to write at a set time every day per say and see where it leads?
    I know you must be busy – but would appreciate any help!
    Thanks so much,
    Deb 🙂

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Deb,
      Thank you for reading Secrets of the Tides, and for taking the trouble to get in touch. And congratulations on your e-book!
      I still feel like I’m learning (all the time) how to write a novel. Each new book seems like a virtually impossible feat at the beginning … but with those overwhelming feelings also comes excitement – at the tiny seed of the idea nibbling away at me, and at the possibility of what that seed might grow into. I think my key piece of advice for anyone starting out is to grab hold of the idea that feels most enticing and most ‘you’. It needs to be something that fires your imagination because you’re going to be living with it and exploring it for quite a long time. So the excitement is a very necessary piece of the puzzle.
      In terms of planning, plotting and writing, I tend to scribble an outline of the story and need a rough idea of the structure and characters before I get started, a suggested ending to head towards etc, but then it’s just a case, for me, of getting stuck into the writing process and remaining open to the possibilities as they come along. A first draft is really an experiment. From there it’s about being critical and finessing things, reworking parts of the story that don’t work, and understanding the characters, now that their journey is mapped out in full.
      I wish you luck with your writing, wherever it takes you. A few years ago I never thought I’d be writing a third novel, let alone a first and everything that has happened with Secrets of the Tides and subsequently has really blown my mind. I suppose my biggest piece of advice, therefore, is to go for it. If it’s something you’re itching to do, you have to try … because you never know where it might lead.
      Thanks again for reading my novel. And very best wishes to you. H x

  9. Deb says:

    Hi Hannah,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply and for the good advice and encouragement! It has clarified things for me in terms of what to write and being true to self-so thanks. I look forward to reading your other works 🙂
    Deb x

  10. Susannah says:

    HI Hannah,
    I have just finished reading “The Shadow Year” after only a few days, because I simply couldn’t put it down! That’s saying alot as I have two young children. I loved it just as much as “Secrets of the Tides.” It kept me hooked until the last paige, and I loved the imagery of the lake and the old cottage. Well done and I can’t wait for the next one.

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Susannah – thank you for getting in touch. It’s great to hear you enjoyed both my books. I’m really thrilled. Thanks for reading them and special thanks for getting in touch to say so – it’s always immensely encouraging as I embark on the next! Very best, Hannah x

  11. Janet Littlewood says:

    Hi Hannah,
    This is the first time that I have ever contacted an author! But, I just had to! Just finished your novel ‘The Secret Years’, one of the best books I have read and I read a lot! It grabbed my attention from the very first sentence and that continued throughout. I found myself thinking about the characters and the underlying suspense. I could just see everything – the cottage, the lake and the people involved. A brilliant, brilliant read! I’m now going to read your first novel. Look forward to more in the future.


    Janet Littlewood

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Thank you, Janet. I’m so glad you got in touch with me. It’s lovely to have your feedback and I’m thrilled you enjoyed the book. I hope you enjoy Secrets of the Tides as much! All best, Hannah x

  12. Zibba George says:

    Hi Hannah!

    The Shadow Year has travelled with me to St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean and is another wonderful book. I’ve just finished reading it and feel a bit bereft!

    Hope you have a wonderful time when Tim/Charlotte visit Australia at the end if the year.

    Love Zibba (Charlotte’s Auntie!) xxx

  13. Robin says:

    Hi Hannah,

    Recently finished The Shadow Year……………what a wonderful, brilliant book – blew me away! I was in tears twice at the end, when Freya dies and they bury her………brilliant, real characters, got totally engaged with them(and I got frustrated with them all re- Simon!). Clearly nature is important to you and you describe the passing seasons and so on, so well. Tides here I come!
    You are a very, very good writer and thanks for such an excellent book.

    Best wishes,

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Robin, thank you so much for your comments. I’m thrilled you enjoyed The Shadow Year. Yes, I take a lot of inspiration from nature and in The Shadow Year the passing seasons were perfect for inspiring not just just the setting, but also the plot. It was a lovely book to write – I’m so glad you loved it. All best, Hannah x

  14. John Garlick says:

    Hi Hannah,

    Spent Valentine’s day morning finishing Secrets. Thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the lovely decriptions and how you let the characters develop.You went pretty deep into feelings and emotions and i have told my wife she must read it – I keep wanting to read out extracts to her but restricted my self to Bill Dryden’s likening of love to the cycle of the seasons – wonderful stuff.

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi John, thanks so much for the lovely comments about Secrets of the Tides. I’m very glad you enjoyed it. At book events a few readers have pulled out that passage you mention, where Bill explains his interpretation of love. It’s one that a few people seem to relate to and as a writer, it’s the best feeling to know you might have pulled your words together in a way that strikes a chord with someone. Thanks for getting in touch – it’s wonderful to have your feedback. I hope your wife enjoys it too. Happy Valentine’s Day! All best, Hannah

      • John Garlick says:


        Just finished ” The Shadow Year”.
        Lovely writing as usual and a wonderful start and a powerful finish, but for me a about 70 pages too long in the middle. Obviously just a personal view but I felt I had to wade through a big middle bit to get to the brilliant ending..As an aside my daughter and grandchildren live on Northern Beaches and we get to visit every so often.
        Cant wait for your next book.
        Best Wishes as ever
        John Garlick

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Hannah
    I just had to write to tell you how much I enjoyed ‘The Shadow Year’. It took only a few days to read as I couldn’t put it down! It was absolutely fantastic!
    The story was so real; it stays with you. Even now, something will trigger a thought back to the book and you’re there, back at the cottage by the lake. The parallel stories worked well and it was made interesting by the fact that as you’re reading, things begin to fall into place. There’s the occasional “Oh no” and then the final chapter with the brilliant twist. You find yourself reading the words quicker to get to the ultimate outcome and then “Oh my goodness”, not only did Kat play a part in Lila losing her baby but it WAS down to her after all that Freya died – that’s why she didn’t want the post mortem. Brilliant, gripping, captivating story line. Fantastic!
    Thank you – you should be very proud.

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Thanks Karen! So glad you enjoyed The Shadow Year. I’m thrilled it has stayed with you and the ending provided a surprise or two – what more could a writer want? Lovely of you to get in touch. 🙂

  16. Kay Stewart says:

    Hi Hannah, Just wanted to write a note and tell you how very, very much I enjoyed reading THE SHADOW YEAR. I loved the setting. Loved the dual timeline device. Loved many of the characters, although not all, of course. I guessed some of the secrets and had a few surprises. I moderate a mystery book group at my local library and will be passing along the recommendation that members read your book. Thanks for such a great reading experience. Look forward to whatever else you might think up!

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Kay, thanks so much. I’m thrilled you loved The Shadow Year and very grateful to you for passing on the recommendation to your library group. It was lovely of you to get in touch. I hope you enjoy whatever else I cook up next just as much. I’m working on something right now… 🙂

  17. Sarah Roberts says:

    Dear Hannah,

    I had a brief correspondance with you a couple of years back about your first novel which I really enjoyed when I was in Sydney visiting my daughter.
    I was just so sorry to read in today’s London Times of the death of your husband. How absolutely appalling. My sincerest condolences to you and your children

  18. Hema says:

    Hi Hannah,

    I just read your last post. There’s a lot I’d like to say to you but it feels like it would better to do so away from here. Maybe we can speak in a more private way, I hope that’s possible.

      • Hema says:

        No I’m afraid not. I’ve managed to be one of the few to survive without it. If you can it’s best to use my email address. If it helps (I am not so sure it will) I have also just started following you on twitter.

    • Peter says:

      Dear Hannah
      Thank you for your blog/article today. You have such courage to say what is normally unsaid. Can I suggest you read the following book which provides great insight into what is happening with your children “The Loss That Is Forever: The Lifelong Impact of the Early Death of a Mother or Father by Maxine Harris”. It helped me understand the loss of my father, when I was a child. Best wishes for the road ahead your love, passion and courage will provide great light during the tough times.
      Best wishes Peter

  19. Michael Ticli says:

    Hello Hannah
    i read your little piece(and i don’t have Facebook or twitter so had to use this comment box)but i felt compelled to let you know i thought you were one of the bravest and most pragmatic people i have never met. In what must be an extremely difficult time your approach is inspiring and I’m sure Matt is looking over you and your children with a smile.

  20. Geney Crump says:

    Dear Hannah,
    Your “Life & Death” words, touched me to my core, losing both my parents in a four year period was some of the hardest moments in my life so far. I still struggle with the grief every day, wishing I could share moments with them, that they could see how happy my family life is. How they made that possible with their love and support. You made me cry, though with those tears “I wished myself peace”. With that peace, I wish you and your beautiful family peace and love for all your days. I just wanted you to know you touched someone with your beautiful words, I will be one of those people who does not take a moment for granted.


  21. Julie Meecham says:

    Dear Hannah,

    I have only just finished reading your book “Secret of the Tides” and then this morning I saw something about your husband’s death. I am absolutely devastated for you. I know what grief and death are like, I lost my son of 24 19 years ago and though you do learn to live with the fact that they are gone and never coming back, you never ever really get over the loss. I think of Daniel every single day and sometimes the grief comes back in waves, over and over again. Stay strong for your girls and I know you have many friends and family and followers of your books that you can turn to when things become overwhelming. I send you my sincere condolences.

    Kind regards

    Julie (New Zealand)

  22. Glen says:

    Hannah,I empathise with your grief…my remedy was realizing that my partner did live….in my heart and in my thoughts and in my memories.Treasure the memories,they will be the sustenance necessary for your soul

  23. John McDonald says:

    Hello Hannah,

    I have just finished reading your piece in the SMH online this morning. . I usually don’t read such personal and emotional baring & much less contact the writer. Your sentences seemed to draw me into your experience of loss, sadness and pain. Apart from losing parents as they aged I have no direct connection with losing a loved one. I can only try to imagine having my wife or only son taken suddenly. Only momentarily as it is is uncomfortable to dwell on that chance.
    I can’t see pain going away much either.

    For all that we humans need to endure we are a superficial and fickle lot. On the atheistic end of the spectrum dealing with mortality issues for me requires a deeper breath.Your silent grief now part of the news may help a few more to maybe adjust how they act disproportionately to the not so important things. Thanks.

    I hope this spot is OK for such comments as most others are discussing your books.

    Good wishes.


    Port Macquarie NSW

  24. Martin says:

    Dear Hannah,

    As a Dad, a husband, someone who enjoys the surf, of a similar age to you two and a fellow Pom living in Sydney I am truly moved by your story. Matt looked like a guy who enjoyed life to the full with his family. I was welling up at work reading your articulate feelings. I have felt the loss of a family member a long time ago and all I can say is that you learn to live with the pain. With two young kids it is a blessing that you are naturally kept busy. It’s difficult to know what to say but I wish you all the best in your future and with your family


  25. Damon says:

    I just read you blog post about losing your husband Matt in The Age. With tears streaming down my face, I read this with my heart in my mouth. I have three children and a wife, and some days we think we are struggling under the weight of life. How wrong we are – we are living life and are just so blessed to be doing so. All I can think of now is how much I want to go home, tell my wife I love her and hug my children. Your story has made me sit up, look at life in the face and realise how lucky I am. I have peace in this moment. Thank you.
    I wish you and your children all the happiness in the world.

  26. Mary Watson says:

    Hannah, there is clearly nothing I can say that will ease your grief or your sense of loss. But I must share with you one epiphany that I had when I lost a 19 year old who was like a daughter to me. At some point, several weeks after her death, when I was simply going through the motions of breathing and living, the thought struck me that I needed to do for myself the things my Jess would have wanted for me – that if I wrapped myself up in her love, at the very least, I would be kind to myself, I’d be gentle with myself, I’d make good, positive, healthy choices. It didn’t heal the pain or change it, but that kind of thinking helped me cope, helped me get out of bed in the morning, helped me eat when I had no interest in eating, helped me shower and get dressed, and face the world when I had no interest in it. It was tough, very tough – and 11 years on, grief still overwhelms me at times, but I am living a life that would make Jess proud. She loved me unconditionally in life – and her love still supports and comforts me even as I miss her. It’s a strange, strange thing, but through many paths and over many years, I have learned to live with my loss, and to find joy in life again. I believe you will too. Wishing you peace. Wishing you what Matt would have wished for you.

  27. NvC says:

    Hi Hannah, I just read your beautiful piece syndicated on the SMH and I felt compelled to get in touch, I hope I’m not overstepping. As a (relatively) young person who’s suffered a lot of loss over the past decade, I was highly moved by your words, and your determination to get through the pain while accepting you will never get over it. I have written in the past on same topic, and asked the question “Why don’t we talk more about death?” to a thousand ears. I am currently in the process of writing about grief and death right now in fact. I hope you find the peace you are wishing for, at least for a few hours at a time. x

  28. Phil says:

    Hello Hannah,
    I have just read your very expressive blog/article about your immense loss. My wife and myself know exactly where your feelings are coming from having lost our 3 year old daughter last year to a terrible accident. What you write about is almost a carbon copy or our existence now.

    We are Australian expats living in Hong Kong. Our daughter died here and for reasons we do not fully understand yet remain living here. We are isolated from family and our closest friends and without the support network that people tend to find under such circumstances. Hong Kong culture deals differently with such topics and the language barrier means that support groups don’t cater for expats.

    My wife read your peice and immediatley suggested I read it. I in turn immediately wanted to get in contact with you.

    Would it be too much to ask if you could connect with my wife. She writes as well. It helps drag her out of the dark place we find ourselves in. Everyday is a battle and made even more difficult when people seem to be running thru life and those of us that grieve feel like we are slow marching. As strange as it sounds it is quite liberating talking to someone who understands the intricacies of grief. We don’t have that in any of our close friends or networks here as they have not been to the depths of dispair. They certainly try and we love them for that…. Please don’t get me wrong

    I also wish I could be the one to be connected and helping more but I am just another suffering soul looking for the light in this new life of ours.

    In any case I would like to wish you all the best in your travels along the path your are on now. We walk along side you!



  29. Danielle Turner says:

    Dear Hannah

    You and your children have my sincere thoughts and prayers. Thank you so much for you blog. You expressed what I have not been able too.

    I lost my husband suddenly in Feb this year, we met at 21 years old and were instantly inseparable (I am now 41). The hardest part of this horrible pain is that he was my best friend and he was the one I went to when I felt crap. I miss talking to him so much. I would be asleep when he went to work and he would call me to say good morning, then at lunch to see how my day was going. I still find myself waiting anxiously for those calls, then remember (again). I have found that writing a letter to Rodney everyday has helped. I was dwelling on feelings, thoughts, stories (that we would have shared) with no where to express it. I know I could have gone to my friends and family, but they are not Rodney. The letters help me have a conversation with him, and I can hear him talking back.

    We had created our own little utopia of jokes, stories, snuggles, food, games. I am mad my world, my future, my dreams are gone, but you can not show that to most people. You have to still work, pay bills and talk to others (that do not know) and pretend. Lots of people tell me to stay positive, Why. I should be able to feel how and when I like. Also I have had enough of being told I am strong. I am not strong, I am responsible. But I know it is because they do not know what to say to me.

    I wish I could tell you the pain lessens, but it has not for me yet. I am very tired from the constant distracting thoughts of Rodney’s passing, memories from our wonderful life or waiting for him.

    I know that there is nothing I can say to lessen your pain, but please know that I am thinking of you with love.


  30. Diane Baugher says:

    Hi Hannah-
    FIrst off, I want to say how very sorry I am for the loss of your husband. I just read about that while trying to find contact info for you. My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family.
    I wanted to say someone recommended House of Tides to me the other day. I got it from the library and could not put it down…it was awesome. I have just ordered your latest book and can’t wait to read that as well. I have to say it was the best book I’ve read in a long time. I have this wierd habit of finding errors in books and I only found one in yours! At least I think it was an error…it was page 100 where Helen unlocks the door to her classroom. Later down on the page it says when she got in the room there were just a handful of students in the room-how did they get in if the door was locked?! So anyway, basically just wanted to say bravo on a wonderful book. You have a new fan for life!
    Diane Baugher
    Cleveland, OH

  31. Gail Walsh says:

    Dear Hannah – I was given your SMH article by a friend as she thought it would be helpful for me. My wonderful husband died very suddenly in May this year from a sudden heart attack in front of my son and I at home. To say our world has been turned upside down is an understatement, as you can imagine, but your words about your grief and loss really touched me and I could totally relate to the way you were feeling. I actually felt that I wasn’t going completely mad and really ‘got’ what you were saying. I printed your article off and have read it whenever I am feeling lost or down. Thank you for putting into words so eloquently what grief and sudden loss feels like…….I think it’s awful to say but, unless you have been through this horrible experience, you just have no idea at all. I wish you and your children all the best in making a new life together and thank you again, cheers – Gail

  32. Delia Kemp says:

    Just anted to say how much I enjoyed both of your books. Some of the best written I have come across, and found them very hard to put down. Have also read about your sad loss and would like to send my sympathy to you and your family.

  33. Kim van Hoorn says:

    Hello Hannah, having recently read “Secrets of the Tides” I’m just nearing the end of ” The Shadow Year”. What an imagination! What twists. My 22 year old daughter is called Freya and she also has long, thick blond hair but not, I hope, quite so devious as your Freya… so there’s a thing!
    Keep up the good work! BTW your smile is as dazzling as your novels! (I’m a friend of Robin Barnes, a fan of yours who recommended your novels).

  34. Diya says:

    Hello Hannah. I read your article on Harpersbazaar and was very touched by it.
    Me and my team are based out of San Francisco and have launched this campaign #1MMemories to gather 1 million memories of loved ones that we’ve lost. This campaign in supporting National Grief Awareness Day’s petition to Obama. We want to start changing the conversation around grief… I would love to have a conversation with you. Our website for the campaign is and email is

    Really looking forward to hearing back from you.


  35. WordMothers says:

    Hi Hannah, seems we have a mutual friend. Got chatting at a class dinner recently and she suggested you as an interviewee. Love to feature you / your work sometime – please contact me through the blog or Twitter if you’re interested. Thanks! 🙂 Nicole

  36. Joan Hartley says:

    I was enthralled reading Secrets of the Tides. So much so that I read into the wee small hours of this morning, unable to put the book down until I finally had to get a bit of sleep. But I got up this morning, fixed a cup of coffee and finished the book. What a gifted writer you are! I’m an American temporarily living in the south of France where so many British people live and vacation. So I consider it such a stroke of luck to have found a copy of this book in a second-hand shop. I am going to encourage all my book-loving friends to try Amazon or any other source to get a copy for themselves. And I am determined to read The Shadow Year. And any future works. Merci beaucoup!

  37. Gisela Kirsten says:

    Dear Hannah,

    I’ve just read both your books and enjoyed them a lot. You really know how to keep your readers hooked. Nevertheless, there are some points I’d like to comment upon.

    Being German myself I read “Secrets of the Tides” in German and was very astonished about the title of the German edition. Of course “tides” is “Gezeiten” in German, but in the original version “Tides” is the name of the family and doesn’t refer to the tides of the sea. So, I just wondered why the publisher chose to change it.

    I wasn’t so happy with the ending of this book. [SPOILER REMOVED]. Were you afraid that your readers wouldn’t like a sadder ending ?

    When I read the second half of the Shadow year ,I was wondering about some practical issues. [SPOILERS REMOVED] That’s all a bit unlikely. Perhaps I should just attribute it to poetic licence. But I think your story would be more convincing if at least some of these details carried more credibility.

    Best wishes,


    • Hannah Richell says:

      Hi Gisela – thank you for your comments. It’s kind of you not only to read my books but to take the time and trouble to get in touch. With regards to Secrets of the Tides, yes, if I were to rewrite that book now I would definitely alter the ending a little. I’m not quite sure why I wanted such an optimistic ending back when I originally wrote it. I was a very new mother – and flush full of happy hormones, so perhaps that had something to do with it. I do realise, now, however, that I could have got away with a darker ending. I think that’s what I tried to do with my second book. I appreciate there may seem to be a few ‘hard-to-believe’ details in The Shadow Year. I discussed these at length with my editor and agent and in the end I believe we decided to let a few things go, knowing that if I tried to explain every piece of red tape the story would get bogged down in minute details. It is, after all, supposed to be an enjoyable, escapist read. I apologise, however, if these details jarred for you and spoiled your own enjoyment. You clearly have excellent observation skills! Thanks again for getting in touch. With my best wishes, Hannah
      PS. I’m not going to publish your full comment on my blog as it contains too many spoilers for others who may visit my site and not have yet read my books. I hope you understand why I’ve edited it a little and I hope this reply reaches you OK.

  38. Patricia Ferrenberg says:

    I am in the process or readin The House of Tides. Nowhere did a see a blurb about you, the author, so I decided to find you on the internet. So far the book is very interesting. I hope to read the other

  39. Deborah Mitchell says:

    Hi Hanna, it’s 7.55am I should be getting ready for work, currently glued to Secret Of The Tides, just had to say, I love your writing style, I was hooked after a few pages. Two thirds of the way through & cannot wait to finish it. Thank you for the super story, running for the shower now!
    Cheers, Deborah Mitchell, Adelaide, SA

  40. Liel Pizzey says:

    Dear Hannah,
    I have never read one of your books. I know about you through my wife, who is a prolific reader. She says you are the best author she has ever come across. I looked you up on the net, to see when your next book was coming out and there I read about the cruel twist of fate, that shattered your life. I have also just read, about your battle to get back on the horse.
    “A writer that cannot write” ….. Reading your account of the tragic event that engulfed you, I felt like a giant hand was squeezing the life out of my heart. I could feel your pain. Such is the power of your words, the words of someone that can more than write.
    There is a great saying “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass ….. its about learning to dance in the rain”
    You can write, its a rare gift you have and it is the very essence of your being.
    I would like to add a single word to your Post-It Note …….. Believe
    You can do it.

    • Hannah Richell says:

      Thank you for this incredibly generous and kind comment. I can’t really explain how much your words mean to me, but I can tell you that they reached me on a very difficult morning and moved me to tears. Somehow, they felt heaven-sent and exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you. I don’t know why you felt compelled to reach out to me on this particular day with your thoughtful words, but I’m so glad you did. I’m off to edit my post-it note. Thank you, kind soul.

      • Liel Pizzey says:

        Dear Hannah,
        I felt compelled to contact you, because you are a person that gives so much to others and I wanted to help in some small way and offer some support. I could also see you were struggling, looking for answers to life’s unanswerable questions. You have a unique gift that should not be lost, most importantly for yourself but also for the book lovers of the world. Your books offer readers an escape and flights of fantasy, it seems ironic that those notions, are the very things that you are searching for.
        Sometimes, others can see things that we can’t. We can’t see, because we are too close to a situation or event. You talk about your words not flowing but even in your hours of despair and more recently, in periods of self-doubt, there was one constant ………….. your words.
        I love so see or hear of the triumph of human endurance, human endeavour, the human spirit, in adversity or against the odds.
        You will triumph …………. And once again, it will be Hannah Richell, the writer (that can write), the storyteller (with a story). The status quo restored.
        If I could add one more line to your Post-It note ………….. “I can”

  41. William says:

    Dear Hannah,

    I lost my mother to cancer on the 16 March this year. On the 24th March a dear friend sent me a link to your post on good grief. Its taken until today to read your sorrowful, but beautiful words.

    I’ve thought long and hard about my Mum, myself, life and the universe of late. Although I have been burying friends and family since my very early teens, losing Mum has really rocked me to the core. There are still days the pain penetrates and I am paralysed. My brain freezes and I can’t communicate to anyone. There are numerous times a day when she enters my consciousness and I just have my own private moment and let it pass as inconspicuously as possible. I managed to do a photo book for my family for Xmas. It took me 5 months to muster the strength to start the project and then 3 – 4 months to battle through it. Finally I completed it and had to pay a premium to have it printed in time. My own fault for taking so long, but it was the only way I could manage it. Work on the book, struggle, get upset, stop, recharge and then start all over again. Repeat. I was proud of my efforts but even though I now have this printed book as proof that my mother no longer exists, I simply cannot make my mind, or my heart, digest it.

    I now could keep writing all day. I think your article has reopened the flood gates, but in a good way… Thank you for sharing your experience. Your words are so consoling, thank you for sharing them.


  42. Jacey Thurston says:

    I dont read as often as I should but I came upon your book in a “book exchange” bin in my neighborhood- something drew me to your novel “The Shadow Year”… Once I started reading it I just could not put it down. I find it very hard to be “captured” by a novel very often but I really enjoyed reading “the Shadow Year”. I am purchasing The house of tides and cannot wait for more novels!!! Will there be any more available to Canada and the US in the near future?

  43. Sara says:

    Hey Hannah you gorgeous thing. Its Sara here, from school. How are you?!! Oh my goodness Hannah I’ve just been looking through your blog and I can only say how amazing you are. You were always such a talent and I’m proper proud of you – this sounds really weird but I just woke up and the reason I googled you was because I remembered that amazing card you once wrote which had a big yellow cat on it and you filled it with so many lovely thoughtful things about our friendship. I think that was still to this day one of the nicest things anyone’s ever given me. I’m so very sorry to hear about your husband, he sounds like a very special individual and these recent times must’ve been so hard for you. I just wanted to reach out and say hi, and that I think you’re amazing. So, I live in Brighton right on the seafront, with my hubby Ian who I met at university and is a very kind chilled out person, I’m a wedding photographer, I’ve got two kids Maddy and Zac who are now 11&9. Bizarrely as part of a turning 40 midlife crisis I have two large swallows tattooed on my back with Maddy & Zacs names on. I just read your blog post about matts tattoo and thought I had to email you. Sending all my love to you my lovely one, and itd be lovely to hear from you, Sara xxxxxx

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