Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Is This Really Happening? (AKA Meeting Your Publisher For The very First Time)

It's another writing-related anniversary for me today. A year ago, I was in London, meeting my publisher for the first time. Afterwards, they asked me if I'd like to write a post about it for their Talk About Random blog - my first blog post anywhere, ever! To celebrate (and because my deadline for book 2 is looming ever closer!) I'm re-posting it here. You can see the original post here.

Train tickets: check. Note of tube stops so I don’t get hopelessly lost and end up wandering the London Underground for days, weeping and begging strangers for help: check. Email from my publisher inviting me out for lunch so they can meet me and talk about my book: ch–

Hang on. What? I have a publisher?

Every time I think about it, I have to pinch myself. My novel, ACID, a dystopian thriller for young adults, is based on a story a friend of mine and I challenged each other to write when we were fourteen. Although I didn’t get much past the first ten pages, the idea – someone breaking out of a prison and going on the run from a corrupt police force who want to silence them forever – never left me. Two years ago, after having a near-miss trying to get my first young adult novel published, I came back to the idea. Several drafts later, my agent, Carolyn Whitaker at London Independent Books, started sending it out. And Random House Children’s Books said YES!

I have to admit, when they invited me down to London for lunch, I was nervous. This was an important occasion; I had to make a good impression. Cue frantic booking of haircut and raiding of wardrobe for smart outfit…

Two weeks later, the big day arrived. I met up with Carolyn in her lovely book-lined office and then we made our way to the RHCB offices where we were greeted by my editor Jess, Commissioning Editor Ruth and digital wizard Emil. It was both exciting and surreal to hear everyone being so enthusiastic about my book – the book I wrote on my dented laptop in spare bits of time between work and dog walks and everything else – and they were so lovely that by the time we headed out for lunch, I forgot I’d ever been nervous. Over steak and chips, we chatted about books and dogs and holidays, I met Fiction Publisher Annie and even found myself agreeing to get on Twitter (you can find me at @EmmaPass). And that evening, when I got back to my sister’s house, where I was staying overnight, she’d made cinnamon whirls. It was the perfect end to a brilliant day.

Now I’m back home, waiting for my first editorial letter, the next step in my journey towards becoming a for-real published author. So I guess this really is happening… especially now Carolyn’s told my contracts have arrived. I still have to pinch myself from sometimes, though!

20 comments:

  1. I bet you still have to pinch yourself when you read this! What a great day to celebrate.

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  2. That DOES sound like the perfect day, Emma! Congrats again on ACID (I absolutely cannot wait to read it!!), and I hope book 2 is going well :) Love ya, writing twin!

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    1. Awww, thank you, Elsie! Love ya too! :)

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  3. I love your posts Emma! As someone who is yet unpublished and at the beginning of the whole process, it's so wonderful to read your enthusiastic and optimistic posts. (There are way to many doomy, gloomy would-be authors who keep pointing out how impossible it is to get published.)
    But I read this and it helps me to believe that it could be me too!

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. I'm so glad you like my posts! Trying to get published is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but I don't believe it's impossible – otherwise why would I (or anyone else) have books coming out? Very best of luck to you as you continue on your writing journey!

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  4. Thanks for sharing Emma: apost to make us all smile :-)

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    1. You're welcome, Joe - thank you! :)

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  5. Well that is just wonderful. What a charming and uplifting piece - thanks for sharing.

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  6. Such a lovely post! Celebratory in an unassuming way :) Bet it still won't all be really real until that finished book is in your hand (or the Hound's mouth...)

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    1. Thank you, Beth! It feels a *little* bit realer now it's on Amazon and I have a release date, but I know what you mean. And the Hound had better keep his toofers off it! :D

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  7. What a great post -- so exciting especially as the day draws near -- happy anniversary!

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  8. I love this. SO looking forward to doing the same! I can't imagine anything more exciting than going to meet your publisher and can't get enough of other people's stories about it!

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  9. What a fun story! Happy (belated) anniversary of meeting your publisher! Sounds like SUCH a fun day, and worth celebrating.

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