I have a confession. My first book didn't sell quite as well as we all hoped. At least not at first. The reviews were stunning (thank you, readers) but the numbers were a tad 'quiet'. My second book did much better but still didn't quite get that 'bestseller' tag. It wasn't until my third book and a change of genre that I suddenly became an 'international bestseller'.
Who knew, eh?
I share this now because it is an incredibly special week for me. I have just passed more than half a million sales of my books overall. Which just goes to show that the advice to writers trying for a publishing deal - keep going - also applies once you have a deal!
The greatest thing I have learned from this rollercoaster writer's life is that getting published is not an end in itself...but a beginning. It is not about one book. Or even one genre. Or one publisher. It is about the joy on the page and not being able to stop writing, whatever the sales.
I have loved writing since I was in primary school and feel incredibly blessed that this is now my life. I honestly have no idea why my third book and first thriller I Am Watching You was 'the one' to really kick things off for me - hitting number #1 in three countries. I am just incredibly glad it happened - and that I didn't give up.
The lovely irony for me is that the success of my thrillers has led to a huge boost for my early books which are now enjoying the sales I hoped for in the first place! So this writer's life is a marathon, not a sprint. A book's sales may be strong straight out of the gate...or they be slower to build. I say this to buoy the spirits of any other writer who may be worrying as they build their 'brand'. Sometimes you just have to keep the faith, keep doing the work...and wait.
I celebrated my lovely milestone today with a visit to Agatha Christie's glorious Greenway on the River Dart. The sun shone and the water glistened. Magical - not least because they allowed me to play Agatha's Steinway grand! Wow....very special.
So cheers to everyone who has helped me along the way, especially my lovely readers.
And to all those still dreaming....you really must keep going.
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.