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Island Life, Word Birds & Process

Who knew, dear reader, that at an age when a good many women are settling into a version of retirement, I would be getting my first traditional publishing deal? Back in 2016, after what seemed like a lifetime, that is exactly what happened. And in 2017, I did it again.

There was – because there always is – an element of luck attached to both events. I was lucky to have access to the Meet the Editor scheme, hosted by the press that would eventually publish me. I was fortunate to be mentored by an editor with an astute mind & an eye for something on the quirky side. And finally, I found myself in the hands of a ridiculously small & hardworking team willing to take a chance on me.

In a world where getting a traditional publishing deal is as rare as a Kate Bush gig, I remain grateful. Genuinely so. I’m lucky to be published. Lucky to be so well looked after, to have my words treated with respect, my responses to editorial differences thoughtfully considered; to be involved at every stage of the publishing process. If the past few years have taught me anything it is this: those of us who are traditionally published by reputable presses are immensely privileged.

Since I was published, in many ways my life has changed beyond recognition. It’s still amazing to me & each day I count my blessings. I love it when people smile & say, ‘I read your book. Wow! Well done!’ Yes, I’ve worked hard but being published doesn’t make me special, it makes me fortunate. Makes me want to write more, be “full of work” & regardless of the future, remain indebted to my publisher.

This morning, as I often do, I opened A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf at a random page. This is what I read:

The dream is too often about myself. To correct this; and to forget one’s own sharp absurd little personality, reputation and the rest of it, one should read; see outsiders; think more, write more logically; above all be full of work; and practice anonymity…