January 10th 2019.
My husband’s birthday. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, publication day for The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker. *Happy dance*
It was a truly memorable day, with various gifts and bouquets of flowers arriving non-stop at our front door – and not one of them for my poor husband. Two days later, I held an official launch party at the Stoke Ash White Horse Pub, overwhelmed by the attendance and raising £250 for Dementia UK. I’d done it. I was finally a published author!
So with that anniversary in mind, and my husband actually getting a proper birthday to himself this year, I’ve been thinking about some of my 2019 highlights.
After the excitement of the launch, I did a Valentine’s Romance Event at the Diss Publishing Bookshop in February and then knuckled down to some serious editing and general promotion. The paperback came out in March and I got to hold the physical book in my hand for the first time. Quite a moment. When my paperbacks entered the Suffolk library system in May I gave a packed talk at my local library, where half the attendees had to listen to me from the corridor!
June we went to two very beautiful but very different weddings – one very traditional and one in the middle of a wood. Two very good friends and two happy endings. I also took part in a smashing event at Waterstones in Norwich with some fabulous writing pals. See below.
July was extraordinarily busy, starting with the glorious Harpercollins summer party at the V&A in London. An amazing experience where all their authors were spoiled with bubbles and nibbles, and given exclusive access to the Christian Dior exhibition. Only days later my second novel, The Unlikely Life of Maisie Meadows, was published. And finally in that month, I had a weekend away at the annual RNA conference in Lancaster.
I didn’t get a summer holiday this year, instead I was ferrying children around to work experience locations and NCS venues (National Citizenship Service) but I didn’t mind. And in September I was shortlisted for the Joan Hessayon Award. Although Lucy Baker didn’t win, I had a lovely trip away to York. I just love the Romantic Novelists’ Association and how supportive all the members are of each other. And then I was back in London for their Winter party and to hear one of my favourite authors, Sophie Kinsella, talk.
So, all in all, a very successful first year of being published. Lucy Baker got an Amazon bestseller flag, and I was in various local papers, on several local radio stations, and did numerous book related events. The hard work continues as I await news of book 3 and busily rattle through the writing of book 4. Let’s hope 2020 will be equally successful.