Friday, 22 July 2011

What do you do when a dream comes true?

You run in the sea and caper like a wild thing...

You bask in the early evening sunlight that has briefly appeared, after a day of bluster and drizzle...

You get your husband to jump off something really HIGH...

... and then you team a bottle of Bollinger with a couple of packets of Scampi Fries and have yourselves a party.

That was the sequence of events when Rowan, my agent, telephoned to say I had a two-book deal with Headline.  Such amazing news is welcome anyhow, anytime, anywhere, but I was on a beach in Devon (a beach I used to go to when I was a child, and always my favourite, as it's reached by a smugglers' tunnel through the cliffs) and the setting made what was already an incredible moment even better.  After all the running and the splashing and the jumping we gathered pebbles to cherish forever and wrote our good fortune with a stick in the sand. Note to superstitious self, the words were duly washed away, was this a good idea after all?!  And then... we went to the pub.

Even now, a couple of weeks on, the news is yet to sink in. I guess it takes a while to accept, and to truly believe. Meeting Rowan in March was a milestone moment, the realisation of which provoked my very first blog. And a month or so ago, along came another...  It was the early hours of the morning and I was making finishing touches to my manuscript, knowing that it would soon be going out to publishers for the first time. It was probably the combination of sleep deprivation, soft lamplight and music in a minor key, but I had a quiet little cry, understanding suddenly and irrevocably that this was a further step along the road. I felt like I was on the cusp of something that night - whether it turned out to be boundless joy, great disappointment, or just a hellish long wait - the moment, I knew, was nigh.  

The strange thing is, I haven't cried once since getting The News, and I am one emotional sap. Maybe that night hunched over my desk was my lot.  Or perhaps the weight of it all will hit me when I least expect it, like when I next see someone innocently munching on a bag of Scampi Fries. Whatever, I'm ready.  

I'm ready.