I can hardly believe it but four years ago TODAY I became a published author at last...after more than ten years of rejection.
My first book - sold in six languages - was the contemporary domestic drama RECIPES FOR MELISSA which tells the story of a mother's belated goodbye to her daughter via a special book of recipes and letters.
It was a book written from the heart - for I lost my own mother to cancer as a teenager.
The picture here is very, very special to me; it's of a school reunion with boarding school friends who baked some of the biscuit recipes from the book to help me celebrate. I was so touched, I almost cried! My dear friends knew all about my long and difficult struggle to get published and their support meant so much to me.
Of course a great deal has happened since. I've changed genres - now writing psychological thrillers. And incredibly, I've now sold more than a million books!
But I feel very humble today, thinking back to that incredible sense of joy and disbelief when my very first paperback arrived in the post and I realised that I had finally done it. I had become A PROPER AUTHOR.
So today for me is not just about celebration. It is about remembering that long struggle to find a book deal. And it is most of all about my lovely family and friends who never stopped believing in me....despite all those rejections!
I am very proud of all that I have achieved as a writer. Success is wonderful and I am grateful to each and every reader. But I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to the family and friends I have been lucky to share this roller-coaster journey with.
So a big THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to all those who were my early cheerleaders and who never stopped believing. Those biscuits - and the love and friendship that baked them - gave me a memory I will always treasure.
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.