Wednesday, 19 March 2014

My 1st New Year Visualisation comes true - a 2 book deal with Harper Impulse!

The first of my 5 New Year Visualisations has come true! No, not the seven figure bit, just the publishing deal. No, not just the publishing deal. That sounds like I'm not jumping up and down letting off party poppers. I'm not, but that's only because I can't multi-task. Have you ever tried letting off party poppers and typing at the same time? 

If you read my February post, Lessons from the Writing Journey, then you'll know that after three months and 75,000 words written, my agent had told me she didn't like the book I'd been working on. Demoralising is an understatement. I felt like I was back to square one. My romantic comedy Spray Painted Bananas hadn't been bought and now I didn't even have a new book to work on. 

I needed a new idea which wouldn't come while I was stressing about needing a new idea. So I spent a week reading books and clearing up. Writers complain about housework getting in the way of writing, but my best work can happen while I'm scrubbing. The physical activity relaxes my mind and solutions to plot problems rise up and surprise me. 

I was washing dishes when a new idea came. It was for a new romantic comedy called #PleaseRetweet. I wrote the synopsis in two hours and without thinking too much, sent it straight off to the agent. Well I didn't see the point in mulling over it. Either I was on the right track or I wasn't. 

"Yes!" my agent replied. "We really like this! This is what you should be writing!" 

I decided to spend the rest of February making notes about the characters and plot. I needed a bit of a break before I wrote Chapter One again. 

It was while I was making notes, a few days after I'd sent the synopsis off, that I got a call from my agent.

"Hello," she said. "I've got some good news." 

"No..." I said. I'd given up hope of my beloved Spray Painted Bananas being picked up. There'd been so many positive comments but nothing worth celebrating. "Really?" 

"I've had an offer..." It turned out that Harper Collin's digital first imprint Harper Impulse not only wanted Spray Painted Bananas, they'd also read the synopsis for my new idea and wanted that too! 

I'd be lying if I said I cracked open a bottle of fizz there and then. It really didn't sink in for a couple of days after. My husband didn't know what was wrong with me. Nor did I. I rang my Mum to find out. 

"Mum, why am I not happier?" 

And then the tears came bubbling up. It had been a rollercoaster ride. A week before I'd felt like giving up writing and now it looked like my dream was coming true. I was shocked, and so relieved.  After the tears, came the happiness. 

THANK YOU readers, for all your support over the years. You don't know how often I've daydreamed about writing the acknowledgment page... although if I put the name down of everyone who has ever encouraged me over the years that page would be longer than the novel!




15 comments:

Hayley N. Jones said...

Congratulations! You give your books great titles and you've inspired me to keep working at my own New Year's resolutions :-)

sarahballwriter said...

Fab news, congratulations! :)

Lindsay said...

This is great news - I can't wait to read the next novel so get cracking! I know I'll love it.

Emily Benet said...

That's so good to hear Hayley - just keep going! Whatever you put your mind on... and keep it on... and on and on... you'll get it in the end!

Thanks Sarah and Lindsay - SO lovely of you! :)

Julie Crawford said...

oh WOW Emily, congratulations!! You totally deserve it, you've worked so hard!! Way to go, I'm super happy for you!!!!

but I can understand why it didn't immediately feel like the best news ever- this is a job, a passion. There's still lots of work to be done, and the usual fears and challenges with writing tat can feel so crippling. But you can do it, you deserve success!!

Emily Benet said...

Thank you Julie! It feels really good to be writing something that's already got a home in a way - at the same time, I'll have a moment where I think 'but what if they don't like it?!!!' - but actually this new book is flowing quite well and I'm enjoying it and I think that's a good sign!

Anonymous said...

Very well done. That was quite a mountain to climb. Richard (Watson at Newsnight)

Emily Benet said...

Thanks Richard! It was indeed Everest. Seems ages ago you were in our shop and I was a shop girl just dreaming about becoming a published author! I hope you're well!

Lynn Marie Hulsman Author said...

Congrats, Emily. I've followed you on Twitter and read your blog. It'll be wonderful to read your news as a fellow HarperImpulse author.

Emily Benet said...

Thanks! I was excited to see your name on the Harper Impulse website. Perhaps we'll even meet in person one day!:)

Creaky door writer said...

Hi Emily I am delighted for you. I read that post when you had just heard that your agent didn't want your book, and really felt for you. It's good to hear that after discouraging moments like that, all the hard work does pay off. It's also interesting that sometimes it's the quickly thought of ideas (as well as the hard slog) that make things happen. Well done and best of luck with the book deal.

Emily Benet said...

Thank you Creaky Door Writer! ;) I have forced out ideas in the past and they've never worked. The best ideas sneak up on me when I relax. But after the relaxing comes the hard graft. So relieved it has paid off!

368 said...

I can completely understand the roller coaster of emotion you went through. Being at the end of yourself to being on top. So happy for you! Thanks for the honesty.

Emily Benet said...

Thank you 368! I think it must happen at the end of many journeys, the 'oh, right... what was the fuss about then?' but of course it's not the end of the journey at all, it's just the next stage! :)

philippa_moore said...

Just catching up on this wonderful news Emily! Congratulations! You have worked so hard and are such an inspiration to me...I won't give up just yet! ;) I am absolutely thrilled for you and can't WAIT to see what the next chapter holds for you xx