A stroke of publishing fortune

Errr, hello? Remember me? Taps on glass. Perhaps I should introduce myself, it’s been so long. Hello, my name is Julie and I used to live here. I used to write a blog about every other day. Then four weeks ago my world was turned upside down.  Well, it is now coming back to right-side-up, so I am back!!!!!!!!!

I have news. Two things to tell you about. Firstly, Mother. She had a stroke four weeks ago yesterday and is now in the hospital wing of a local rest home. It has been a rollercoaster ride and I’ve learned many new skills that I might use one day.

She’s making good progress. She is more mentally alert and she’s walking really well, she can write on a whiteboard and that skill is improving every day, she is starting to speak and says “yes” and “no.” The feeding tube makes it hard to speak and her throat gets sore. She tires easily and still needs to sleep a lot, but is far more advanced than the hospital led us to believe she would ever achieve and that is after only four weeks.

I visit twice a day and we look at photos, practice tongue exercises and listen to music, go for a walk around the home (which is vast) and I change her sometimes and get her snuggled into bed for sleep. She is warm and comfortable and the staff are amazing, really wonderful.

Second piece of news is HarperCollins USA. Meet Julie, who will be a  published HarperCollins author. Some time ago I got an email from a HarperCollins editor, Carolyn Marino, who wanted to talk to me about my novel, “The Secret Keeper.”

She’d read it and loved it and wanted to publish. There has been some going backwards and forwards and phone conversations and emails…and I signed the contract this morning. It will be a trade paperback for the William Morris imprint and will be published about this time next year, 2013. It will be for sale in all the major chains and all the independents across the USA and in many markets across the English-speaking world, and translated into (at least) Russian and German.

In about 24 hours I will take down ‘The Secret Keeper’ from all ebook retailers. So if you haven’t read it and want to now, get in quick!!

I received the line edited manuscript and editing letters by courier last Friday and have been busy ever since. It’s a fascinating exercise and everything she suggests makes it stronger. When I’ve finished this draft I shall do another, focusing on a couple of characters. They have optioned the next book too. It may well be a sequel.

So what a funny month! Up and down and good and bad and exhausting and exhilarating and demanding and fulfilling all at once. I have learned many lessons and experienced many emotions. Life! What a bag of tricks!!




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