...is 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 music...it 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|
|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!
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!