Before I was lucky enough to land a book deal for my debut psychological thriller, I’d imagined the period spent after signing with a publisher would be a magical, sparkling time. Excitement and champagne bubbling. Each morning marking off the days until publication on a calendar. Afternoons spent frolicking in a field. Threading daisies into chains and biting into wild strawberries. The sun beating down from a blue cloudless sky. The smell of freshly cut grass lingering in the air.
That is not what happened. At. All.
After editing, it has been straight into writing book two, with barely a breath, and book one, The Sister, has faded slowly into the background where it’s become not quite real to me, despite its looming publication date. A vague memory of something I once did.
When my doorbell chimed I bounded to answer it with all the enthusiasm of our spaniel as she chases a ball. I was, after all, waiting for a delivery from Naked Wines.
‘Where do you want them?’ The UPS guy asked, three large cardboard boxes at his feet. I had a momentary panic. I was expecting six bottles. How much had I ordered? But it was hot. I was thirsty, and so I asked him to bring them inside.
On the breakfast bar, I sliced open the first box, but as I reached inside my fingers didn’t connect with cool glass bottles. Instead the box was packed full of paperback books. My books. And it was so unexpected I felt physically winded.
As I stood silently in my kitchen a myriad of emotions washed over me. My first thought was the one person I wanted to show my book too, more than anyone else in the world was no longer here. I felt sorrow tempered with joy. Exhilaration mingled with despair. And then a creeping sense of pride. I’d done it. Despite the physical pain I endure when I write. Despite the loss I’ve experienced during this process. The story of Grace is now in print, and when, half an hour later, the wine did arrive, I felt I really had something to celebrate.
The Sister is due to be published on 7th July. The ebook is still available to pre-order for the very special price of 99p, the paperback is £8.99 and, from July, it will also be available as an audio book. Find on Amazon UK or Amazon US.