You know I said I wasn’t going to keep checking my Amazon ranking? Cancel that…
I have discovered the most ridiculous and addictive game. Sorry. I know it’s vain and silly and I am embarrassed even to admit to it here but in my defence I have been waiting for this author launch lark for a very long time and I learn that there are more unexpected “you are kidding me” moments…
It all began when my novel suddenly popped up on Amazon’s “Hot new releases” chart at number two in literary women’s fiction. Don’t quite know how or why….a surge in pre-order sales one particular day. Something like that.
Anyway. The point is I started to find my novel on all sorts of lists and charts, nestled up against novels and authors I really admire. Even big name authors who sell zillions of books. I can only describe this realisation as similar to the day I was handed a costume to wear with the name tag Glenda Jackson. I should probably explain…
I used to work in television news for the BBC and one Children in Need they decided to dress me as Elizabeth the First (don’t ask). The costume duly arrived from BBC HQ with Glenda’s name tag…I’d interviewed her when she became an MP so it was another “I don’t believe it” fan moment,.
You see when you are a journalist working in television you never really see yourself as any kind of celebrity – local or otherwise. At least I didn’t. Just a hack. So I was often embarrassingly star struck.
There was this other time I was invited to a big BBC dinner in London and found myself queuing for the loo with Delia Smith. I tried to act cool but it was ridiculous. Delia Smith!!
And that’s what this feels like now. My little debut popping up alongside all sorts of big name books and authors. Really? Ridiculous. Surreal. Wonderful. And I admit it…..just a little bit addictive. So forgive me my delusions but I'm off to see who else I may be rubbing shoulders with ...at least temporarily. Need to be very quick as for a few moments Jojo Moyes is on the shelf above....
I am normally one for words first and foremost– obviously - but just now it feels as if pictures are the way to go.
Nearly cried when these turned up. Oh – who am I kidding? I did cry. Proper tears. Overwhelmed. Big kid.
The truth is it remains so surreal. A beautiful box of shiny, delicious-smelling books with my very own words inside. My debut! After all these years… Those who have been following this blog with all the ups and the downs and the updates as I was writing this novel (wondering and fearing how it would all turn out) will understand how much this means.
Of course I am learning too that the paranoia that is in the writer’s job description does not, alas, cease once you sell your book to publishers around the world. The next cue is to start laying awake at night worrying if anyone will buy it! (Whatever are we like?) People are starting to mutter quietly about “rankings” and how I will very soon start a new obsession. Chant after me…..do not check your Amazon ranking every hour. Do not check your….
To be honest? I am realising that this way insanity lies. My book is published three weeks this Friday and, having done my very, very best, I can only now cross everything, hope and pray that readers like it and try to enjoy the moment. At least the early signs are good - some very kind bloggers and reviewers are saying nice things on Goodreads (thank you; thank you – I could hug you all) so I am going to try very hard to stop worrying at least for a little while and instead share another special snap.
Below is a picture of me visiting one of the settings featured in the novel (the very gorgeous Porthleven in Cornwall). When I was in the final stages of line editing, I thought often of this mesmeric place and could picture my characters there so very clearly. Worrying isn’t it that our characters become so real to us that we can do that? Watch them. Right there on the beach.
So – to all those who are still pitching away, what can I say? I can say this feels magical, if just a little bit scary too… so do please keep the faith. Keep going. Keep loving it. Keep remembering that it wasn’t many months back I had no idea that all this was finally going to happen.
And will you forgive a nervous first-time author for mentioning that my debut is currently on special offer - pre-order discount price of just 99p. Click on cover or side bar or HERE
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.