And nothing is ever how you imagine it to be…
Okay, so many of you will know my news. I did announce it yesterday on Facebook and Twitter, but not here as it was Catherine who was in the spotlight — great interview by the way Catherine.
Monday was a day like no other.
Whenever I’ve had good news on the writing front, it has always come while I was looking the other way; had forgotten, had assumed I’d got nowhere with a sub and then into the inbox pings good news. But I wondered how it could be that way with my novel. When you submit to a bunch of agents and publishers it’s at the back of your mind but you have to forget about it. You are conditioned to get a rejection from ‘most’ so you wait. It’s only when someone says ‘can we see the rest?’ a little candle starts to flicker, a candle of hope that sits in your heart so now you think about it more. But I have been here a lot of times and know realistically, while I agree you should celebrate this (of course you should — it means it has something) you still need to put it to the back. But then, it takes the next step — in my case a small press said they liked my novel and it had gone to second reader, so now the flicker becomes more of a flame — but still, you know you don’t want to get too confident, you’ve been here before, near misses are great, but harder than the outright rejections I think. And that’s because you start to believe (like really believe it might happen).
So then this small press asks for a copy of my Welsh Books Council critique (which was glowing I have to say — big head moment, sorry) … and I think, they wouldn’t ask for that if … and then I think, no — stop counting those chickens. But the flame is now burning bright, but we all know how easy it is to extinguish. But now it’s all we can think about.
And every day I have skipped out of bed and as the weeks have passed, and what patience we need as writers, thought how at least the dream is still alive, no news is good news and all of that.
But I did think because it was at the back of my mind all the time, how could it sneak up on my when I wasn’t looking, or aptly perhaps While No One Was Watching … (the novel’s title in case you missed that).
I will tell you.
I get up Monday, switch on the computer to boot while I walk Rosie, coffee ready, fingers flexed as I sit and hover my keyboard to finish I Am Wolf this week, press log in and my computer gets stuck on the log in screen. Forever. So you do that thing, switch it on, switch it off, oh no … MS Dos screen, disc error … this is not good.
So a frustrated hour waiting for the computer shop to open, a panicked phone call to my brother asking him to Google it … and a message on Facebook that went something like “Nooooooooooooooo!” and a friend sees it and offers to take me to the shop in Bangor. Where I might say the keyboard was replaced last week! And although he said it would take 4 days to fix, it turns out it might be that day (must have seen the beg in my eyes!)
So no computer, I gate-crash a lunch with said friend and while I’m telling her friend (who I have met once but don’t remember) about Lee and what happened to him an email pops into my Blackberry. The one I’ve been waiting for. Maybe Lee had something to do with that? But again the news came while I was not thinking about it. But it needed a phone call which couldn’t happen til later as we were both out (the publisher and me) so the ‘celebration’ had to be subdued until I knew for sure. So then I spoke to the computer shop to find my hard drive was dead and I needed a new one, and might’ve lost some of the files (luckily I back up!) I then had to buy a new one. But hey, I had some potentially great news, phone call willing.So off I went to crit group with a computer with no files on it!
Got home, phoned, no answer. Phoned again left message. Phoned again and …
Parthian Books want to publish While No One Was Watching, this October in time for the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination and he was even talking covers to me! I was thinking “Is this really happening?” Add F words as needed (sorry Mum).
Then as soon as I got off the phone a contract pops into my inbox … now being looked at and will try to get back to them this week.
So I drank a Cosmopolitan that seemed very Sex in the City (even if it was 99p in Iceland and out of a tin and I’d never had it before) but thought it seemed a glam thing to do if I got the news. It had sat there 4 weeks!) … phoned the parents and told close friends, lots of skipping about too, no dinner — too excited. Barely slept and have been dancing since.
So there you have it, in my rambling excited convoluted way, my novel will be published and DREAMS DO COME TRUE IF YOU WORK HARD (THAT’S KEY) AND NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER.
So unable to work yesterday and sadly knowing I have to rewrite the one missing chapter in my novel that didn’t back up and re-copy edit a MS that somehow didn’t back-up (so a deja-vu day) you should know one thing … I have the biggest grin you’ve ever seen and I am still dancing!
You could be next.
Never stop believing …
Thanks for all those who believed …