‘The call’ from Laurence at Crooked Cat – well, an email actually – came on a Friday afternoon. I’d finished with the computer for the day, then later I happened to wander past it – no hand-held technology for me – and thought I’d have another quick check for emails and Facebook chat, like you do. And there it was.
To say that the call had been a long time coming would be an understatement. Not that Crooked Cat were anything but speedy. Once they’d requested the full manuscript of ‘Remarkable Things’, it was only a matter of a week or so before the offer of publication arrived. But behind that trailed a paperchase of submissions, each slightly different from the one before (the query letter never seems quite right, does it?) and each sent out with a big dose of faith and renewed hope. But that’s all in the past now, at least it is for this book, and how strange it feels to be saying that!
So what do you do after the call? Well, you jump up and down a bit, a lot, actually, and then you just want to be quiet, disappear into yourself and take it all in, or try to. At least that’s how it was for me. This is after you’ve saved the precious email and its attachments in at least two places and printed it out in case it disappears in a puff of smoke, leaving only a smirking ‘ha ha, got you!’ in its place.
On the Saturday morning, feeling restless and still in a bit of a dream, I went into town and bought a new notebook and a shiny orange box file in which to keep said print-outs. I always buy a new notebook when I start writing a new book; new chapters call for new stationery, and I was certainly beginning a new chapter.
I’m not superstitious, at least the real me isn’t. But this Harriet person, she’s not averse to a bit of witchery, apparently, because it wasn’t long after I took her on as my writing persona that I got the offer from Crooked Cat. I wrote about the ‘real’ Harriet in an earlier blog post called ‘Harriet, writing and me’ and I reckon she was smiling down on me and sending me the luck of the black cat. Yes, all right, I know, but it’s a nice thought.
I’ve had such wonderful messages of congratulations from all over, particularly from the friendly authors at Crooked Cat. Already I feel like part of a family, and I think we’re a good fit.
The hard work really begins now. There will be edits, and all manner of stuff I’m not familiar with, and amid all the excitement, somehow I have to find time to write…
We cracked open the champagne last Sunday when the family came, and lovely it was, too. Cheers, everyone!