This is such a big moment for me, I feel more than a little tearful as I write.
My publisher Thomas & Mercer has just confirmed that in less than two years, I’ve sold A MILLION copies of my thrillers I Am Watching You, The Friend and The Promise.
To say I’m stunned is an understatement. I can’t even picture a million people. A million moments in which someone was reading (or listening to?) my work? Seriously – I used to read the tagline ‘million copy bestselling author’ and felt utterly in awe; it seemed such an impossible achievement. And now – pinch me - that’s me!
It took me a long time to get published so this feels like a good time to look back, to reflect and to count my blessings. There are many people I need to thank here – my publisher Thomas & Mercer, my fabulous agent Madeleine Milburn and her team for starters – but especially I want to thank my family for seeing me through the ten years when I was struggling to get that first book deal. Rejection was so very hard back in those early days. There were long hours late in the evening at my computer; and, oh my word, there were definitely tears over the 'near misses' and disappointments. Also there were moments when I felt ridiculous, having to admit to people that I had written unpublished book after unpublished book…
But strangely it never seriously occurred to me to give up. How could I? It was my dream from childhood to be a published author. It was so much tougher than I ever imagined but I was getting better and learning important lessons with every passing year and every manuscript.
Then there were major changes at my first literary agency so I left. I wrote a new book in 2014 and queried from scratch. It was all a bit scary but I had several new offers of representation (phew!). I signed with the wonderful agent Madeleine Milburn and my world changed; my two contemporary dramas Recipes for Melissa and Last Kiss Goodnight were published in six languages and beautifully reviewed. The dream had come true! But guess what? I learned that getting published is a beginning and not an end. The rollercoaster was still in motion; there was more hard work ahead, more difficult decisions and more excitement too. For it was only when I switched to psychological thrillers that everything truly took off in a way I could never have foreseen.
The publication of I Am Watching You, my first thriller, was the turning point. It somehow struck a chord with readers around the world and now has over 30,000 5-star reviews on GoodReads. Extraordinary!!
Hence my final, special thanks here goes to all you fabulous and generous readers who have championed my books – recommending me to your family and friends. I owe you so much.
As I mentioned earlier, I have wanted to write fiction since I was a bookworm in primary school. I still sit alone in the silence of my office every day, astonished that my childhood dream has come true.
So thank you, readers, from the bottom of this very grateful author’s heart for helping me to live the life I love.
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.