Sponge Cake & Self Doubt – The day before publication…

Today I’m distracted, unable to settle. I’ve opened and closed my wip, started and abandoned a short story. The puppy has trailed me as I’ve paced our overgrown garden, the cat rolling his eyes as I’ve stalked the places he thinks of as his own. I’m edgy, excited, easily distracted. It’s a little like waiting for Christmas, except it isn’t. It’s better.

Tomorrow is the paperback publication day of my debut, The Sister and even with a pile of paperbacks sitting on my desk and less than twelve hours to go I still can’t quite believe it’s happening.

This morning I’ve collected the bookmarks for my Waterstones launch tomorrow night, resisted the urge to dive into my cake and bought enough wine to fill the boot of my car. Each time I’ve been out I’ve darted into Asda and stood staring blankly at the books for so long an assistant came to check if I was ok and I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that tomorrow, nestled amongst the other titles, my story will sit. It doesn’t seem real.

It’s been a long road to publication, and after signing with the digital phenomenon that is Bookouture I never dreamed that a year on I’d also have a contract with Sphere (Little, Brown). After all those no’s finally two yes’s.


I feel so emotional today. So thankful that even when it seemed utterly impossible anyone would take me on I never gave up writing and submitting. Tomorrow in-between two radio interviews, I’m planning to visit WH Smiths, Waterstones and the supermarkets to reassure myself it’s really there. I can’t imagine how I’ll feel when I see Grace and Charlie’s story on a shelf although there’s still a part of me, a larger part than I’d like, that is half-expecting a last minute ‘sorry we’ve read the book again and changed our minds’ email. I’m not sure when this self-doubt will go, if it ever will, but in the meantime I’m watching the clock and waiting. Endlessly waiting. And for now, still resisting the cake.





31 thoughts on “Sponge Cake & Self Doubt – The day before publication…

  1. Ah, I’m so very pleased for you, Louise. It’ll be so exciting for you to see The Sister on the bookshelves, the very thing all hopeful writers dream of. You’re an inspiration to those of us trying to achieve the same. After a few recent rejections, I was moping about the house yesterday, wondering why I put myself through it, why I don’t pin my hopes on a more achievable goal. But you never gave up and look what you’ve achieved.
    I hope you enjoy every moment of tomorrow, knowing that it’s thoroughly deserved. Huge congrats.

    • Oh I remember that feeling so well Lynn. At times it seems hopeless and I never thought it was achievable at all but there’s more and more writers being published, more and more ways to read. I think it’s an exciting time for publishing. You’ll get there I’ve no doubt – you’re a fab writer.

      • It does feel like masochism sometimes, doesn’t it, putting yourself out there to be constantly rejected? Thank you so much for the encouragement – it means a great deal. Again, enjoy tomorrow – I know there will be many similar exciting times to come in the future 🙂

  2. I’m so excited for you! I’m looking forward to getting a copy of this book here in Alabama in the US. Congratulations!🎈🎉🍾

  3. Congratulations it must be thrilling and terrifying at the same time.
    As for the self-doubt I’d like to think that it is for the good cause of pushing you – and any writer worthy of the name – to do their best and better every time they write something new.
    Enjoy the day, have fun and I wish you the best success 🎉

  4. Oh those wicked voices in our heads! I posted today, and clearly you have company. Don’t listen; you are a wonderful writer, and your books will do so well! (And do as I say, not as I do 😉 ) Congratulations again! (clearly I’m not reading in order… )

  5. Congrats Louise!!! Even though I’ve read it already I’m buying a paper copy as soon as it’s available. You are a wonderful story teller!!! Can’t wait to read The Surrogate!

Thanks so much for reading!

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