Friday, 31 May 2013

Say hello to Hot Key :-)

From L-R: Emily, Jet, Naomi, Jan, Georgia, Sarah O, Me, Cait, Sarah B, Livs
and Front L-R: Amy and Meg
I've been feeling guilty recently - about this blog. I started *Notebook to Novel* as an aspiring, unpublished author and used it as a place to pour out my dreams and disappointments and any tips I picked up along the way.

Now life has changed to the point where I barely recognise it. In the last year I've not only become a mum (now there's a voyage into the unknown!) - I've also become a real, live, professional author. I say professional because for the next couple of years I'll be taking a break from my day job and concentrating on family life - and writing life!

There'll be lots more about that. But for now let me tell you that one of the most strange and lovely things about getting a book deal is seeing the other side of publishing - the inside if you like. And the nicest thing of all is realising just what a team effort publishing a book is.

Writing is largely a solitary endeavour. It relies on you being able to go into your own head and disappear; hang out with characters who feel real but aren't real (that's important by the way. They aren't real, hence the return to normal life is possible!) I've written before about how important it is to find other writers and dreamers and people who understand but even with this much of the graft of writing is a solo effort.

But when a book gets accepted by a publisher a whole new world is revealed. You work with editors who help you find the real heart of your story and put it on display. It's like walking in to see your hairdresser, peering out from beneath a fringe that's too long - and an hour later you walk out with your face finally framed and visible and on show to the world.

You work as part of an incredibly passionate, talented team of people who share one aim - to help get your little book out into the world and read by as many people as possible. There are people who design beautiful book covers; there are people who help you arrange events and market the book (and generally treat you like royalty on the entertainment front. In two weeks of Hot Key events I probably put on half a stone...)

And beyond Hot Key are all the other amazing people who are working to get Death & Co out there and read by as many people as possible: book buyers, book sellers, librarians and all the other unsung heroes of the book world. These people have lots of guts and get very little of the glory. They love books, their knowledge is encyclopaedic and they aren't afraid to sit down with a bottle of wine and tell you exactly why a particular book is brilliant or awful.

So this post is to say thank you. Thank you to all the people who left comments on the blog over the last couple of years. Thank you to Gillie my agent and to my family and friends who kept the faith. Thank you to Hot Key for loving Adam and his family and his world as much as I do.

And if you're reading this blog, longing for your own book deal - longing to see YOUR book in your hands - be inspired. Go back to the start of this blog when I was just daydreaming about it. No matter what you hear about how tough the market is - it is still possible for a debut author to get a book deal with a brilliant publisher. Keep writing and keep believing. You're next!

If you'd like to read Death & Co for yourself you can buy it from Amazon, Waterstones, Easons and all good independent booksellers.
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