Friday, 22 August 2014

Happy Calliversary to Me...

One year ago today the sun was shining, the sky was blue and I was on holiday in a beautiful part of the country with my family and friends preparing to go to one of my favourite beaches. And my husband was on the Tatty Devine website buying up sale jewellery for my birthday.  Life was pretty good. But I was still yearning for something else and I wasn't sure that it was ever going to happen for me. I felt that I was a crossroads at best but worried that I had come to a complete halt - I had no new work to submit to the New Writer's Scheme, wasn't even working on anything new.
I had no idea what I was going to do next.
Then a couple of hours later, as I was driving along the A1, my mobile rang and everything changed.
After three years of serious trying (and another three of semi serious trying), several submissions, multiple competitions, some tears, a little wallowing and thousands of words I was finally going to be able to say I was an author.
I had a contract. A contract with Mills & Boon.
Fast forward one year and many more words, a few more tears, a little wallowing, lots of prosecco and
FOUR (and 3/4) books and here I am, on holiday again, in another utterly breathtaking part of the country (Tobermory in Mull aka as Balamory to those of you with children of a similar age to mine. We are still reeling from the discovery that Archie's castle isn't actually on Mull and Spencer's house has been painted beige). My third book, His Reluctant Cinderella, comes out in October and Romantic Times called it 'Adorable from start to finish.' Life is pretty good.
Here are some of the things I have learned along the way:
Yes, yes I have a wall of Tatty Devine loveliness. And?

  • Mills & Boon editors and Mills & Boon readers are some of the loveliest, most generous people in the world. 
  • As are other Mills & Boon writers.
  • Writing to deadline is a whole new process.
  • Waiting for revisions is just as nerve wracking as waiting for a submission.
  • I still don't feel as if I have made it.
  • You never stop learning. Or yearning for the next step up.
  • The moment you hold your first book in your hand is overwhelming.
  • I can stand up and talk in public. If I really have to.
  • If I don't write every day I feel guilty.
  • My schedule is insane; four books, one year, one child and a day job.
  • If you must read reviews don't take them to heart; enjoy the good and shrug off the bad. Because there will be both but if you're lucky the former outnumber
    the latter.
  • My Tatty Devine obsession shows no sign of dwindling.
  • I don't want to do anything else...