Today is a very important anniversary for me, because three years ago today I signed my first publishing contract.
Content warning for really quite un-British gushing, and something that ended up sounding like an Oscar speech 😉 There is a giveaway at the bottom to make up for it.
Let me tell you how I got started with writing as a career, and why today is a day I will always celebrate.
I took the plunge into writing original fiction during Nanowrimo 2012, and drafted The Little Things in a hyperfocused blur. When it was finished, I submitted it to Samhain and wrote Nothing Serious while I was waiting to hear back from them. I subsequently submitted Nothing Serious to Carina UK (while still waiting to hear from Samhain).
In the middle of March 2013 I got rejections for both books in the space of a week.
As you can imagine, at that point I was feeling pretty awful. But figuring I had nothing to lose, other than what was left of my pride, I submitted both titles to Dreamspinner Press. Incidentally, the only reason I hadn’t subbed to DSP as a first choice was because of their insistence on using US spelling conventions, which felt all wrong for my very British stories.
March/April 2013 was a very low point for me. I was depressed and directionless. My inner critic was shouting loud and clear, drowning out my creativity entirely. I shelved the project I’d started (which later became The Law of Attraction) deciding that it was crap, I was crap and I should probably give up trying to be an author.
But then on the 12th of May, 2013. I woke to an email from Elizabeth North with the subject line:
Contract Offer: The Little Things
Of course, I accepted it. And at that point, everything changed. Excited, validated, I started to believe in myself again. I was still riding that high, when I got the contract offer for Nothing Serious a week later. Around about that time I started writing Not Just Friends.
I wish I could say that everything’s been peachy since then, but of course it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Publishing, like life, has its ups and downs. The highs are wonderful and the lows suck sweaty donkey balls. But I’m still here, I’m still doing it (now full-time), I’ve made some amazing friends along the way, and I wouldn’t trade this job for anything. So….
<3 Thank you, Dreamspinner Press, for taking a chance on a new author. I will be forever grateful to you.
<3 Thank you, readers, for taking a chance on my stories. For buying my books, for reading my books, for caring about my words, for connecting with me online and making me smile every day.
<3 Thank you, author friends and colleagues for welcoming me to the genre, and for your endless support and awesome banter.
Thank you, bloggers and reviewers for the way you help to promote books and support authors like me in chasing our dreams.