Friday, 31 July 2015

First Sightings!

This is so exciting...

There's my book on a table - no - right at the front of a table - in the Liverpool Waterstones. I'm next to Jandy Nelson! I've just finished reading that - it was brilliant! Blimey. And - look - there's E Lockhart too. She's one of my favourite authors - I have her autograph and everything. Thanks to the lovely Kate Ormand for the photographs.

Over on the left - I'm face-out at Foyles. Thanks for the picture, lovely Sally B (who claims to have spotted me in WHSmiths too...)

And on the right, lovely Jazz Bartlett took this photo in Waterstones Bristol. Where I'm next to fellow Chicken Houser, James Dashner - yes - the one whose book is now a top movie!

I was also sent this photo by the wonderful Renée Holler at The Book House in Oxford Look - I've been made a Staff Choice. Thank you so much, Renée!

Oooh - update! Katey Lovell just let me know that Darkmere was face out in Sheffield Waterstones too. Hurrah- thanks, Katey!

Further update - another sighting in Waterstones Truro (above) and sharing a table with the mighty John Green in Waterstones Cambridge (below) Thank you lovely Michelle Toy for the photos.

OK - third update! Kate Ormand (author of Dark Days at the top left of the bookcase) has been in touch yet again and sent me a photo from Waterstones in Warrington - where we are 'Currently Trending' Woo-hoo!

Number four - and no sign of me tiring of adding updates to this post. I'm sharing the bookshelves in Kew Waterstones (below) with a couple of my favourite Chickens Housers - Emma Shevah and Kieran Fanning - all of us being published in three days time!!!!

And thank you to lovely indie bookshop Queen's Park Books for sending me this...

One of my (and my children's) favourite authors, Emma Carroll, just sent me the photo below - from the Waterstones in Exeter - she also bought a copy of Darkmere - yeep!

I also went into town to visit my own local Waterstones where I'M FINALLY ON THE TABLE...

Okay, this feels like my 200th update, but I have some signage - I'm being likened to Sarah J Maas and Melinda Salisbury in Bristol (Thanks again, Jazz)

And the best sign of all... 'Take a Walk on the Dark Side' in Edinburgh (Thanks, Lisa Drakeford)...

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Waiting for my book

The longest wait of all... when your publisher tells you she's put a finished copy of your new book in the post. 

But it arrived at last - and it looked like a book. An exceptionally pretty book, with a fluorescent pink heart and spine, matt lamination and spot UV varnish (yes - I have learnt a few technical terms!) It feels and smells very beautiful. It includes my acknowledgements and dedication. It's just...perfect really.

I'm not sure I can bear to write in the front of this...

My book arrived a few minutes before we set off to Watford on another of our pilgrimages to the Warner Brothers Studios. So I took my book with me.

How cool is this photo?

Everything in the studios - and there's a lot there - started off in J K Rowling's book which was eventually discovered by my publisher. So walking around with the first copy of my own book...watching the film clips, reading the author quotes and listening to the background all made me feel a bit choked up. Another nice thing was that everyone else on the tour was a Potterfan; some even had cloaks or lightning scars; and they were all there because of a book. It was a weirdly emotional afternoon.

Along with my book, I was also sent a huge stack of Darkmere postcards to give to important people.

So far I've given one each to my mum and dad, a handful to one of my brothers and a few to my husband - although I'm pretty sure none of them count as actual 'important people'. Last Sunday I went to a picnic for YA writers and reviewers and gave a postcard to top blogger Michelle Toy and another to vlogger Lisa Golding - bringing my total of properly handed-out postcards to two.   

Left to right - self, Chelley Toy, Lisa Golding, Lisa Drakeford and Janet Edwards
The picnic was arranged by Chelley and we had a lovely afternoon by the river in Stratford, talking about writing, eating cupcakes (thanks, Lisa!) and playing Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit.

Here's fellow Chicken House author, Lisa Drakeford signing a copy of her debut,
'The Baby' for me. (It's a fab book - you should buy it!)

Several proof copies of Darkmere have already been sent out to book-sellers and reviewers, so I've been seeing my first few reviews. I can report that there's hardly anything better than the feeling you get when someone suddenly says they enjoyed your writing. It's wonderful - I don't think I'll ever grin more soppily or more widely!

On Twitter...

Most people who've ever submitted anything to agents and publishers will know the internal-sag that comes with an email rejection. The 'Didn't love it enough's, the 'Not quite right for our list's and the 'Not taking on anything new right now's - they can strike at any time and they'll always sting you. Whether you're out socialising with friends or tucked up reading bedtime stories to your children, you'll glance at your phone and hoist your smile a little bit higher while muttering, 'It's nothing - nothing...just spam.' And on the inside, you'll feel as if you've just dropped down several floors in a lift.
But the good reviews are exactly this process - in reverse!
They can strike at any time and make you feel fantastic. They are totally worth the rejections and rewrites. And you'll want to track down each reviewer and hug them!

On Goodreads...