First Year as a Published Author
On the day the ebook was released, it snowed heavily. The schools were shut, so my husband and I, along with our children, walked through our local woods to the pub for a celebratory lunch. The snowy pathways were magical, almost surreal and in a way, the perfect start to beginning of my first year as a published author.
I've been fortunate to be included in many events at book-stores, reading groups and festivals. I've met so many wonderful, passionate and dedicated booksellers, writers, readers, librarians, publicists, organisers and bloggers. I've been (nicely) overwhelmed by the kindness and support of so many people. I've gradually become more confident at public speaking (hopefully). This was spurred on a) by thoughtful and interesting questions from engaging audience members and b) by watching a film of myself speaking where I looked so utterly terrified (and quite scary)! so I try and remember to smile more now.
I've enjoyed visiting a prison library group, speaking about my journey to publication at my local university, reading out loud 'in character' for another author's book and I've also had the opportunity to get involved in charity work by writing short stories for projects which support stroke patients and victims of domestic abuse.
There are, naturally, moments of nervousness, fear and heaps of self-doubt, along with life's inevitable ups and downs, but I'm extremely fortunate to have the support of my family, plus some amazing authors and friends who share the good and the bad. If I have any regrets, it's not taking enough photos, I always seem to remember after an event!
I've also been concentrating on my second book, another psychological thriller with a damaged woman at its heart. I'm sometimes asked if I'm planning a sequel to The Perfect Girlfriend. Never say never, of course, but I don't have one planned for now. Research has shown me that stalking is such a dangerous, insidious crime that stalkers rarely give up. I wanted the ending to reflect the seriousness of obsession in a, hopefully, authentic manner.
There have been too many highlights to include them all, but some are: seeing the book on bookshelves (I'm always grateful when people post pictures or send them to me), being sent pre-publication copies of books, being contacted by readers from around the world, travelling around the UK and visiting Ireland, New York and Canada. The Perfect Girlfriend has been released in a few territories so far and it's always such a thrill to see all the different versions.
Other brilliant moments (to name a few) include attending book launches, going on a writing retreat in West Bay, spending the night at a private house within Salisbury cathedral grounds during the Salisbury Literary Festival (it was a beautifully, misty night), meeting talented authors I've long-admired and getting to know some of them (it's such a supportive world), attending Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival and seeing my short stories in print. It was such an utterly unbelievable thrill to see The Perfect Girlfriend included in the Sunday Times Bestseller list. I really was over the moon and also to discover the absolutely incredible news that it was a No 1 bestseller in Canada! I owe thanks to so many people for making this happen and to everyone, everywhere, who has bought, championed, supported and read the book.