On the 4th of September I was at the school gates collecting my children for a half day. That's always the way it happens isn't it? You build these things up in your mind and expect somehow that the day will know in advance that something big is going to happen. But it never does, it's always just an ordinary day when news comes.
It hadn't really been much of an ordinary year. Everything was on its head - constant covid news, then a covid infection that didn't want to shift, a relocation to a new city, home schooling, then new schools for the children. In retrospect it shouldn't have been a surprise that life was about to take another turn for the stranger.
As my children ran towards me, their coats akimbo, lunchboxes flying out to the side, my agent's number buzzed on my screen. I couldn't not take the call. That morning I'd had a meeting with Ebury, zoom of course. I picked up, and he told me he'd just sold the worldwide rights to my book.
No one tells you what it's like when your first book sells because words fall short to describe the bizarre combination of elation, relief, pure joy and sudden fear too that hit in that short phone call. I spent the weekend walking around half laughing, half crying, mumbling Penguin Random House to myself wondering when I was going to wake up.
Now contracts are signed and exchanged, Bookseller announcement done and elbow deep in rewrites, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to wake up. My book, The Last Days, is coming early 2022.
It hasn't been an easy book to write. It's intensely personal and the process at times has felt a little like sandpapering my skin off. But, all that said, I can't wait to bring my story into the world.