This post could also have been called “Pass the Rescue Remedy” or “Christmas is Cancelled” or more practically “I’ve Signed a Book Deal”. At this point I’m more focused on the Rescue Remedy than anything, and still wondering if I’m having a (rather long) dream.
A couple of years ago, a very lovely person called Margaret Scott commented on my Facebook page to say I should try writing a book. We chatted over and back, and I discovered that she was an author. She told me to give it a try, and I did. Because of course when someone on the internet suggests you do something, you do it, right?
I scribbled furiously for six months and then… I did pretty much nothing. I wasn’t sure about the final manuscript, and I knew it needed work. A year later, I sent it to one agent, and was told that the writing was good, but that the book crossed two genres and wouldn’t work commercially. A couple of months ago, I gave it one more try, prompted again by the wonderful Margaret Scott, and got the same feedback. But it did lead to a new idea, and a new submission, and then one Wednesday morning two weeks ago when I was sitting at my laptop working away, I was offered a book deal by Poolbeg Press.
The first thing I did was get up and boil the kettle, because obviously, tea. Then I phoned my husband, and asked him if it was real or if I was dreaming. I’ve had plenty of “I thought I was dreaming” conversations over the years – to lend drama to a story – but in this case, I truly, honestly wondered if it was a dream. For aspiring authors, book deals are the holy grail, the gold dust, the hen’s teeth, and suddenly there I was in my kitchen with one falling into my lap (top).
So I cried, made more tea, phoned my husband back to check that I definitely wasn’t dreaming, then set about starting the book.
A good few people have asked me what it’s called and what’s it’s about – so here goes – for now it’s called The Other Side of the Wall and this is the blurb:
When Sylvia looks out her bedroom window and sees a child face down in the pond next door, she races into her neighbour’s garden. But the pond is empty, and no-one is answering the door.
Wondering if night feeds and sleep deprivation are getting to her, she puts it out of her mind – until a week later, when she hears the sound of a man crying through her bedroom wall.
Sam is the man living next door to Sylvia. He hoped the new house would fix everything, but it’s off to a bad start. And for him, it’s about to get unimaginably worse.
Kate is Sam’s wife. She’s fed up with his late nights at work, until a letter brings everything crashing down around her.
A local child goes missing, then Sylvia’s own daughter wakes one night screaming that there’s a man in her room. Sylvia’s husband insists it’s all in her mind, but she is increasingly certain it’s not – there’s something very wrong on the other side of the wall.
And of course, I’m petrified – I’ve never had to write so much in such a short time, and I can’t figure out how to fit Christmas into the mix, or just generally, life.
But I’m so happy – for aspiring authors, it really is the stuff dreams are made of. Pinch me.