Sunday, 5 June 2016
A 4th Anniversary
Four years ago! And this is me holding the first copies of The Housemaid's Daughter in hardback and paperback!
It was a lovely spring day and I ran out into the garden to get some photos with my book in all its new, commercial finery! It had taken 6 years of toil, rejections and revisions to get to that point. In fact, I guess it took about 16 years in total, because what you may not know is that I wrote an entire, separate book before Housemaid - that has never seen the light of day. Ah, well... they say that your first manuscript is simply practise for the Real Thing...
Standing in the garden, I was not to know that the book would go on to be published in the USA and then into translation into 14 languages. Of those, the French and Spanish versions have seen the most success but every so often I do get reviews in Polish or Turkish or further-flung languages that flummox me. Each time that happens, I pinch myself and realise how lucky I was to be given an entry into the hyper-competitive publishing world.
Ada, the heroine of The Housemaid's Daughter, was my guide.
I began to realise that Madam was the same as me: we both carried sentences inside ourselves that we never spoke out loud.
The difference was that she could tell her sentences to her diary, or to her letters, whereas I had to keep mine forever inside my head. Because, you see, even though I could read, I wasn't yet able to write.
So... what now?
Watch this space!