Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Spendy-spendy post...

The first thing I bought with my advance money was this man...

He's PJ the Funky DJ (the number one for funky fun) And he really is good fun too. 
Usually, when one of the boys has a birthday, we invite two or three friends on a trip to the cinema and the Pizza Express, but this time Seven-year-old's birthday coincided with my advance money, so I hired a hall and an entertainer and invited more than twenty children to come and run around and help us eat a ton of green cake. It was lovely!

"Happy Minecraft day, Eight-year-old!"

The next thing was new glasses. I needed these, so there wasn't anything terribly extravagant about it. Unless you count the fact that I bought THREE pairs. Oh, yes - Look at me, I'm practically Elton John!

And before this post gets any more sickening, I did give a chunk of the money to charity. Almost as if I sensed somehow that I would fritter the rest of the money away on nonsense, I made sure that someone - somewhere - would be doing something sensible with it. My plan is to give the same percentage of my next advance (or any future advances) away too. So that'll be the one thing I'll never be able to regret doing with the money when this whole paid-author-with-book-deal-thing comes crashing down around my ears. 

So many of my family, friends, neighbours and teachers at the boys' school have been battling cancer, it felt brilliant to be able to contribute. Especially without having to join a fun-run, wear a stupid costume or dye my hair a ridiculous colour...oh wait!
Anyway, I donated mostly because it was the right thing. And a little bit because I really want to be JK Rowling!


Then I bought frivolous shoes, shiny boots and pretty summer dresses. Because - as I pointed out before - I am practically Elton John.

There has been much discussion among my writing friends about what we'd spend a first advance on and the general consensus has always been that we'd buy one special - super expensive - item to mark the occasion. Suggestions have included a vintage Rolex, a piece of jewellery we'd designed ourselves, a long weekend in Paris or a really great painting... (Actually, I think Neil Gaiman buys a piece of art every time one of his books wins a prize, but I'm not quite in that bracket yet.)

Trouble was, once my first advance was a row of figures in my bank account, I was proud to see it there and I found it hard to watch it go down. I definitely didn't want to see it disappear all in one swoop! So I've been buying lots of less-expensive things which shall serve to remind me of my advance all through the day.
Now, I can take off my new Cyberjammies in the morning and put on my fancy new pants and a new dress. Ooh - and in the bathroom, there are heaps of fluffy new towels!

I can't tell you how much happier these towels make me than a vintage Rolex would!

And, since I've been repainting my kitchen cupboards. I've been able to splash out on some matching accessories. This is the first time I've ever replaced a toaster that hasn't been broken (although it had stopped toasting evenly). Every time I go in the kitchen, I think "This must be how Elton John feels in his kitchen too!) 

Least fun advance items so far all purchased from here...

I bought the Eleven-year-old's new school uniform. Blazers, shirts and ties, lace-up shoes, trainers, football boots, shin pads, even a technology apron. Ow! ow! ow! How do people without signature advances afford this?
Even Elton has a big shock coming when his sons reach secondary school age! 

Sunday, 6 July 2014


I've had some pretty exciting emails over the past year or so.
The first one that made my stomach do flick-flacks of excitement was from an agent (Rowan) and it said...

The Secrets of Darkmere
"I really like your writing and it would be great to read the entire manuscript. Can you email it to me as a word document?"

A later email that made me stop breathing for a bit also came from Rowan...

Chicken House Deal
"Congratulations on your new job title! I've now closed the deal with Chicken House..."

Another subject line that made me execute a sort of tearful triple jump, came from my new editor (Rachel)...

"To have finally acquired you and Darkmere. Really, really pleased!..."

Those are my favourites. But there was another one that I had been waiting for - and it arrived last week from Liane at Furniss Lawton...

Signature Advance
"The signature advance from Chicken house was paid across to you today. I've attached the remit for your records. P.S. Happy shoe shopping!"

Whoohoo! I can now show you what I've been up to over the last few days...