Readers, there is something I’ve been wanting to tell you for a long time. And finally I am allowed to do so. It’s so exciting I could actually wet myself!
(Oh come off it. Of course I haven’t met a man! Don’t be mad!)
I AM GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED NOVELIST!
Let me just say that again, because it is the most exciting thing I’ve ever said in the whole world.
I AM GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED NOVELIST!
WTF?! I cannae believe it!
I’m very sorry to have kept this from you. But here, if you’re interested, is the lowdown.
1. Start blog in September 2009. Presume that no-one will read it.
2. Nice Woman from major publisher emails me. “Have you ever considered writing a novel?” she asked. I stared at my screen dumbfounded. “Er… well, not really,” I replied. “I love writing but I really don’t think I have a novel in me.” She was undeterred. “Let’s meet and discuss.”
3. I meet Nice Woman and have cocktails with her. “I think you’ve got a novel in you,” she says. I am completely flummoxed and get drunk on one cocktail. Somehow I find myself agreeing to write a book.
4. A week later I email her and say “Er, how do I write a book?” She replies: “Just write 100,000 words and send it over to me.” I load my pants. Is she out of her mind? This is impossible!
5. By Christmas I have some semblance of an idea. I lock myself away for a few weeks and start writing. It is a strange experience. The strangest being somewhere in the region of mid-January when I am sitting at my dining table, wearing two jumpers and a hat and a dressing gown because I am too pikey to put the heating on, and writing a sex scene. I am blushing like a mofo and get so embarrassed that I have to go out for a walk. I become convinced that anyone who makes eye contact with me on Highbury Fields knows what I just wrote and blush even harder. (Don’t get excited, it’s not that randy, I’ve just never written one before.) I realise I have written 35,000 words of this thing and I begin to panic. What if they are rubbish words? What if I am wasting my time? I start searching around for agents. Is this thing in my computer is a massive crock of shit? It’s time to find out.
6. It’s Feburary 2010. I am sitting in the office of a woman who is possibly the funniest person on earth. She is a super-agent-legend-type person and every wall of her office is crammed with books. She tells me that several portions of my mini-novel are rubbish, but that it has a lot of promise. To my absolute amazement, she offers to take me on. I try not to faint and go and have a lot of wine in the pub next door. Arrive back at my day job slightly worse for wear.
7. Now it’s May 2010 and I have written about 55,000 words. “We need to send this thing off to publishers before you go,” Super Agent tells me. “Let’s get it in excellent shape, ok?” I try not to be sick. I’m currently doing 15 hours a day in my day job. “No problem,” I say weakly. I go and drink more wine. I surely cannot do this.
8. It’s June 2010. I did do it and Super Agent sent it off. Publishers are ACTUALLY INTERESTED IN MY BOOK. I am in a field talking to my horse and receiving updates from Super Agent from the frontline. I tell my horse that the world has gone mad and someone must be reading the wrong novel. She stands on my foot.
9. It’s less than a week before I leave London for Argentina. I’m walking Grouse the dog and talking on the phone to Super Agent. The deal is done. It’s sorted. I AM GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR! I am going to be published by Michael Joseph. I’m going to be a Penguin! I drink a LOT of wine.
10. And now here I am, sitting (in a slightly blurred photo; sozzer) in what is apparently a ‘literary cafe’ in Buenos Aires, munching on a banana, furiously editing my now-finished novel and wondering what the flaming Jesus has happened to me. My book is now being sold in Europe and my brain is mush. I’m so excited that I might, as previously mentioned, pee my pants, and so shocked that I often have to open up the ‘NOVEL’ folder in my laptop just to check that it’s all real. Never, in a trillion years, did I expect this to happen.
So that’s why I’m living in Buenos Aires for another two or three months, and why I didn’t immediately hit the road with ethnic beads and a guitar.
Anyway, without wanting to sound like a complete wazzock, I did want to say thank you to all you lovely dudes who read and comment on my blog. Your kind words have defo helped give me the confidence that I can write a book. Me love you. Long time.
Peace and books to you all.