|Dreams do come true...|
Fast forward fifteen years. Last week I submitted an academic book based on my PhD, and this week, I am delighted to announce that Firefly Press are going to publish my middle-grade Second World War, adventure story, Flight, next summer. I am beyond excited as Firefly are the most incredible publishers with some fantastic titles and authors already on their list. I feel very privileged to be part of it.
When I met with Penny and Janet a few months back I really thought I was dreaming. I suddenly realised I was sitting in a restaurant discussing the cover of my novel...that's right MY novel. It felt surreal and as I drove back home I kept having to remind myself that this was for real and someone wasn't going to jump out and shout 'Only joking!'
Flight was the first story I had written outside of academia and it was joyous to have that freedom. I work for Golden Egg Academy supporting other writers, but I was also lucky enough to be mentored by Imogen Cooper myself. I can spot issues in other people's work but it is never that easy on your own. You need a professional to sit down with you and say: have you thought of this or why are you doing that? Her knowledge and understanding of books and empathy with authors knows no bounds.
I also don't have an agent so I did all the negotiating myself. Again I am very grateful to Imogen for her advice but also the Society of Authors, who were incredibly useful. Their advice was invaluable. I cannot recommend being a member enough.
When I started at university I hadn't even thought about being a children's writer. It was only when I had a chance to write some that I suddenly found my voice and realised that's where I felt at home. You see you have to take all the opportunities that come your way.
I am really looking forward to the next few months as Flight literally does take flight...
Somehow this seems quite appropriate: American Authors - Best Day of My Life