Monday, 5 October 2009

Shop Girl's Book

I’ve written a book.
You’ll never guess what it’s about.
It’s called, ‘Shop Girl Diaries’.
It all began on the Southbank over a pizza and a glass of wine with the Date.
It was the second time we’d ever met.
“I want to write a blog about my shop but I don’t want to write daily,” I announced.
“Write weekly then,” he said.
“Oh, can you do that?”
A week later I began the blog you’re now reading. That was over a year ago.
I’d always wanted to get our shop on paper and for three years I wrote a novel set in a lighting shop. It never felt quite right though and in the end I used the back of it as scrap paper.
In January my blog reached an editor at Salt Publishing, who asked me to turn it into a book.
Three people read the manuscript I sent off: My cousin, my Aunt and my Mum’s good friend.
“Are you sure you shouldn’t read it before it’s published?” I asked the Date. “You might want to change things.”
My book is very honest.
It’s the whole story; love, crystal and burning ambition.
“I wouldn’t change anything you write,” he said, “and besides it’s all true.”
It’s too late now anyway. It will soon be ready.
This December ‘Shop Girl Diaries’ will be out in the shops.
The next step is actually selling it.
I’m realising there’s a lot more to being a writer than writing.
To be honest I’d happily hide in a corner and get on with my next book.
But I mustn’t.
I’ve got to find my voice on the telephone.
I’ve got to persuade people to take an interest in me.
Radio stations, newspapers, television...
My tummy tightens just thinking about what I’ve got to do.
After reading ‘Paula’, I wrote to the author, Isabel Allende.
I thanked her for inspiring me and reminding me what I loved about writing. I also told her about my own Shop Girl story.
I didn’t expect her to reply and was very excited when she did.
She wished me good luck and gave me an important message:
“Don’t be shy."
With that piece of advice in mind, I ask you to consider making your Christmas shopping very easy this year and buying my book for everyone you know.
Not at all!

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