THE publisher of the novel Maeve Binchy completed just days before she died has told how she believed Ireland's best loved author was with her in spirit as she edited the writer's last manuscript.
'A Week in Winter', which was finished shortly before the 72-year-old died in July, was published with the permission of her husband, Gordon Snell.
Her long-time editor, Carole Baron, has told RTE Radio's programme 'Maeve: A Celebration' that she felt the Dublin writer was with her as she worked on her final words.
"I feel Maeve was on my shoulder through the entire process. The manuscript was in and we just had to tidy it up," she said
"When Maeve sent in her manuscript, her typing was abominable. You could barely read it. Then you started to punctuate it and paragraph it and the magic of her words would emerge. That's what I had to do. Maeve was there the whole time."
The New York-based editor said she was a bestseller in most other countries before she conquered the US.
"America was one of the last to come to the party. She was popular here but . . . it was really just a question of getting her to the right audience," she said.
Ms Binchy's books sold more than 40 million copies in 37 languages.
Ms Baron said she greatly missed the larger-than-life author. "I do miss her. I still want to say, 'Oh Maeve, I just saw this great article and I want to share it with you'. Of course (now) I share it with Gordon (Snell)."