Today is the first anniversary of my debut novel. Exactly a year ago, Dancing in the Dark hit the bookshelves. Even now, a whole year later, I still get a thrill when I find it in bookshops.
The two years between completing the manuscript and seeing the final book in print were filled with smaller milestones and highlights. These include:
· Finding an agent (Debbie Golvan of Golvan Arts Management) to represent me.
· Having a number of publishers expressing interest.
· Receiving emails from publishers saying how much they loved the book.
· Entering the offices of Penguin Books and meeting the publishers.
· Receiving actual offers.
· Accepting an offer.
· Receiving the signed contract.
· Meeting and working with Michelle Madden, a lovely, dedicated and highly professional editor. Ditto the rest of the staff at Penguin.
· Seeing the beautiful cover design (by one very talented Evi Otemoto, whom I’ve yet to meet).
· Holding the actual book in my hands.
· Putting the book on my shelf at home.
· Seeing multiple copies of my book in a fabulous window display at Sunflower Bookshop.
Post-publication highlights include:
· The launch of Dancing in the Dark – I enjoyed it immensely.
· Reading positive reviews of the book in newspapers, blogs and magazines.
· Being interviewed for radio, newspapers, magazines, blogs and e-zines.
· Receiving fan mail.
· Meeting readers who tell me how much they loved the book.
· Receiving invitations to appear at the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Brisbane Writers Festival, and attending those festivals.
· Meeting other writers.
I’m humbled by the fact that my dream to be a published author has become a reality. Heartfelt thanks to those who worked behind the scenes – the unsung heroes at Penguin and the booksellers who’ve recommended my book to their customers.
Last but by no means least, a huge thankyou to all of you who’ve taken the time to read my book when there are so many others to choose from. I don’t take a single one of you for granted.