No, not the one from Timothy Olyphant begging me to don my cowboy boots and get myself over to the set of Justified to be the leading lady he's been looking for all his life... sorry. I let my imagination run away with me slightly there... where was I? Oh yeah. I got the call! The call. The call I've been dreaming about from the second I started out on this crazy writing journey of mine. The call I've been dreaming about forever, really.
It had been a pretty average day, to be honest, the day it all started to happen. I wasn't feeling particularly on top of the world. I'd just spent the morning re-watching episodes of Breaking Bad as a way of distracting myself from doing anything constructive, and I was in one of those "meh" moods, if truth be told. My motivation had taken an unannounced holiday, the weather was rubbish, and I was seriously thinking about giving writing a bit of a break. But then I decided to pop into my office and check my emails for the first time in days. And what did I find? One from Charlotte over at Harper Impulse asking if I was free for a chat about the manuscripts I'd sent them! Talk about an instant mood change...
I had to re-read it a couple of times at first, because I just hadn't been expecting to see that. I'd submitted a manuscript to them way back in March, and had assumed that one had been rejected, but then I'd also sent them another one a few months later, but hadn't really thought anything would happen with that one, either. I'm one of life's eternal pessimists, you see. I look on the black side of everything, and if anything good happens then it's a bonus. I can't help it, I'll never change. So, I was just over the moon that a real-life publisher - a publisher! - wanted to speak to me, about my books. Books I'd written. I didn't sleep the night before that phone call, believe me. Publishers don't usually ring you to tell you they've rejected your manuscript, and Charlotte had sent an email back saying it was happy news, so I was just a little bit excited.
And once I'd spoken to Charlotte - who is just so lovely to talk to, but I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to her because when I'm nervous I tend to ramble on and sound a bit like a wittering idiot - I was even more excited! Then nervous, then excited again, then scared, then a little bit more excited... It was a roller-coaster of emotions over those next few days, but I can't tell you how grateful I am to the amazing team over there at Harper Impulse. They have - quite literally - made my dream come true. Well, maybe not the one about Timothy Olyphant in a stetson going all US Marshal on me... maybe I'll keep that one for some book inspiration (first draft is almost finished... no, seriously...) They made my lifelong dream of becoming a published author come true. Oh, I know I've self-published over half a dozen books over the past couple of years, but in the back of my mind I always wondered if I was good enough, if my stories were good enough, for a publisher to sit up and take notice. And one did. And, what's more, it was the publisher I'd set my heart on. And I still can't believe they wanted me.
And, if all of that wasn't enough, I got another call from Charlotte just a week or so ago telling me my little Christmas novella was one of their three winners of the Winter Wonderland Competition they'd been running! More amazing news! That little book I wrote a year ago was good enough to win a competition! To say I'm still stunned would be an understatement, because I'm literally living my dream now.
But it's still scary. There are some incredible authors signed to Harper Impulse, and I sometimes wonder if I can live up to their talent, but all I know is I'm going to give it one hell of a go and work so hard. All I ever wanted to do was write - from the day I could pick up a pen; from the time I started reading those Enid Blyton books to the day I picked up my first Jackie Collins novel and thought, that's the kind of stuff I want to write. I remember telling a lecturer at college back in the early 90s, when she asked me what my dream was, that I wanted to write novels, and I wanted to, ultimately, have a book published. And I hope, one day, she'll see that I finally achieved that dream. Thanks to Harper Impulse. I'm honoured and blessed to be part of such an incredible team.
My first book with Harper Impulse is due for release very soon, so watch this space for news on that, and for the impending cover reveal! Exciting!!
And check out the Harper Impulse website to find out more about their authors, their books, and the special winter sale that's currently running...
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a manuscript to finish...