Tuesday 1 April 2014

My First Publishing Lunch with Harper Impulse

Fiona and me feeling happy post lunch!

It was a pinch yourself moment walking into the offices of Harper Collins. I had just met up with my agent, Fiona Barrows, and we were now in reception waiting to meet Harper Impulse editors Kimberley Young, Charlotte Ledger, and the intern who had originally picked up my submission and got excited about it, Marine Debray. My default state on a normal day is of nervous excitement, so I had to keep reminding myself to keep my feet on the floor. 

They say authors don't get taken out for lunch these days, but I'm living proof it can still happen! It wasn't boozy as everyone had to get back to work after, but I had a glass of wine because it seemed rude not to. 

The meal began with everyone saying they'd be 'good' then ordering fries on the side, which was a relief. I reckon you can trust women who eat chips. Later we all said 'no, no, no, actually yes please' to pudding. I'm not a sweet tooth but warm pecan pie with banana malt ice cream, anyone? The answer is always yes. 

It was a 'getting to know each other' lunch and I still don't know exactly how much work I have to do on Spray Painted Bananas. What I do know is that the title will probably change as they aren't keen on it. They think it doesn't say enough about the book. I was expecting to feel a strong reaction when they said that, but I didn't. Instead it occurred to me that if they changed the title, it would feel like I'd written a new novel! 

They're the experts in this field so I'm going to listen to their suggestions. They also emphasised it being a collaborative process and that they wouldn't do anything I'm not happy with. That'll matter a lot when they start showing me book covers! 

This lunch felt like a significant step in my career. I know like many steps in the past, it will soon feel normal, so I should savour it while I can. 

My husband, a firm believer in celebrating important moments, bought me a beautiful leather Huber and Lerner notebook. Luckily I can slide my own paper in it so it won't run out within the month, because I've a lot of writing ahead of me. In fact, that's probably enough savouring for now, I've got two novels to hand in this year and it's already April!


Lindsay said...

I totally agree about women who eat chips and pudding at least some of the time! Although those who eat chips with pudding might be best avoided. Glad you enjoyed your lunch and keep that gorgeous notebook handy for when inspiration strikes.

Emily Benet said...

Yes, I'm going to have to get over the 'it's too fancy to write in it' thing!

Julie said...

how amazing, sounds like it was a great lunch meeting, and the book is lovely!