This time exactly twelve months ago something incredible happened. I signed my first publishing contract. I know it’s twelve months ago because we have a bat-crazy cycle race in our town called the Graperide. It’s on this weekend, and it was the day after Graperide that I received the email I’d been dreaming about for years.
I’d thought so much about “The Call” over the years. I’d imagined the phone ringing in the middle of the night and me squealing with delight and then fainting in a dramatic swoon. It didn’t happen like that at all. I remember I was trying to scrub dried up egg off the lunch plates (we’d had friends staying because of the cycle race and we’d eaten our eggy lunch in the sun and it had dried on the plates) Cursing the lack of a kitchen maid I’d gone to the computer to check something and there it was. The email to say my publisher-to-be wanted to contract my book. On a Sunday afternoon, with me in my sweatpants and the kids fighting over the TV remote.
There was much squealing, and then my partner-in-parenting-crime (bless his cotton socks) produced a bottle of Bolly he’d been saving for exactly that moment and we sat amidst the eggy plates and drank bubbly wine and laughed and cried.
So, what experiences have I had in 365 days as a signed up author? Here’s my top five list:
5: Despite high hopes, I wasn’t issued a secretary who’d transcribe my stories while I patted fluffy dogs and ate bon-bons
4: My mother still calls in the middle of my writing day and says “I know you’re busy writing but I just had to tell you my bridge/croquet/eye exam score”.
3: My beloved critique partners still tell me there’s work to be done
2: The next contract was just as exciting as the first.
1: Readers. The one thing I have now is real live readers and that’s changed everything. I love the interaction, the friendship, the questions about my characters and my next books. That’s the best part of all.
Is there something you’ve been looking forward to for a long time? Has it happened yet?