10:23am Wednesday 18th April 2012
By James Tourgout
BLIND author Trish Vickers has been caught in a worldwide media frenzy after her story was broken exclusively in the News.
The News told the story of how police forensic sleuths retrieved 26 pages of her 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 in 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.”
Apart from the media interest, people have offered Trish practical help – from advice on voice recognition software that can also read her work back to her, to a pen that ensures work is never lost and help to get her finished work published.
Translator Juliette Scott said she’d be happy to supply details of simple and cheap voice recognition software.
Proofreader Tracey Grinter from Lyme Regis offered help when Trish has finished her work to get it ready for publication and a company wants to present her with a Livescribe smartpen which records everything written and everything it hears. It has an infrared camera in the nib so even if it runs out of ink, writing is never lost.
TrishTrish Vickers, 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.
It was on one of son Simon’s weekly visits to read her work that they found the blank pages of her book, Grannifer’s Legacy.
They contacted forensic staff 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 made the front page of The Daily Telegraph newspaper as well The Sun, the BBC, The Daily Mail online, Dublin Radio and websites around the world.
They included 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 book, 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.
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