It’s strange how quickly things become the norm. Only 18 months ago, the very first time I spoke to my agent, Jo, we talked about my goals. I said, and I remember this very clearly, that it would be lovely to see Hollow Pike in an airport bookshop. Today that dream comes true.
Since then, I’d sort of forgotten that initial goal. So much has happened…the last year has seen edits, covers, trailers, magazines, new flats, new faces. I’ve been writing full-time for six months now and spending every day inside fantasy land has become reality. You get more ambitious too. Perhaps it’s human nature, but completing Hollow Pike didn’t feel like the end of the road, it felt like the start of a journey (although reality TV has RUINED that cliche for all of us). It still feels like there’s loads to do.
For me there is. What’s really exciting is finally being able to talk about Lis, Kitty, Jack and Delilah with readers. It’s a bit like when you make a new best friend and you want to talk about them all the time. Soon, I’m hitting the road and visiting schools and bookshops to do just that – spread the characters and spread the stories. I’m so, so lucky in that the UK bloggers have really ‘got’ what Hollow Pike is all about – it’s fun, scary and thrilling, and thank you all for helping me to spread the story. All UK debut authors will know that we’re sharing shelves with the Meyers and Rowlings and Collins – so all of the reviews and kind words have been hugely encouraging.
Lovely author Cat Patrick, writer of Forgotten hit the nail on the head re. release day. She said you wake up and wonder where the parade is. As an author you know your release date MONTHS in advance, so you can see why you build it up to epic, leviathon proportions in your head. To everyone else, it’s just another day. I was lucky though – I woke up this morning to find my Top Ten Books for Surviving High School on the Guardian AND a competition running at Waterstones, so there WAS a little parade of sorts. Today has been a massive win!
But for today, I’m cleansing my head of what’s yet to come, and rewinding 18 months to when I was teaching Year 1 and got a phone call from an agent asking me what my goals were. It was to see a published book on a bookshop shelf. DID IT! There’ll be other books, but I’ll never be a debut author ever again. It’s not terribly British, but I think it’s OK to stop and celebrate a little success every once in a while.
If anyone wants me, I’ll be in the bookshop, stroking my book!
Lots of love, James x