There’s so much pressure on January, as the first month of the year: resolutions, intentions for the next twelve months, setting the mood and tone…so I like to wait until the end of the month to reflect and plan. Not sure I’m fooling January, but I’m tricking my mind into replacing aspirational expectations with manageable ones.
In writing terms, the move from 2022-2023, feels like a specific transition. Last autumn I was offered a book deal - and with everything else that was going on, I never - until now - got to mentioning it. Actually, it's a two-book deal from a very well-established and well-respected independent press. The novels is question are both written, both won awards, but sat quietly in the wings, clearly waiting for their moment!
Don’t give up, people said. It just takes one agent or editor, they went on. Look at JK Rowling, Stephen King, Agatha Christie…Fair enough, said glass-half-full me, whilst really thinking the unattributed quote, If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it. After all, the current works-in-progress seemed far more marketable….
But it seems the persistent/stubborn/bloody-minded part of me that really believes in these books, has found The One, a champion who agrees. And already, I can’t imagine a better home for them. A few (!) edits, a cover design, new titles, and an author profile, then – publication. Books on shelves in shops. Really? I’m still finding it hard to believe that the longest emerging writer in the history of writing (aka me) has got a bigger boot behind them than Father Ted kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse.
What have I done with my modest signing fee? Well, got a puppy, obviously. Who wouldn’t? She’s called Echo, she really belongs to the 12 year old (who’s besotted; she's a long time in the planning) and she has showed her appreciation for my writing with vigorous chewing of notes, notebooks and my Kindle cover. Since I can’t yet share all the details of the two-book deal – yep, deliberate shameless repetition there – here’s the puppy instead.