I feel like I have been thinking about nothing but my book’s release since I first woke up on New Years Day this year. I had woken up in the year of it’s release and there was no going back only forward to the day on April 11th when it would be officially published.
I shot the last section of the book about a year ago and it is almost two years since I first met with my publisher in London. She told me about how her three kids had all been in bed with her the night before when we were really meant to be discussing ‘book stuff’ and I really wanted her to sign me as an author because she understood the whole children thing.
I’ve never written a book before but as someone who reads an awful lot I knew in my heart that there was a type of book that made my heart soar and that was the type of book I wanted to be a part of creating. I have books that I pull down from the shelf and just pour over for hours and then when I’m done with them they go back on the shelf but I go on to create or potter or change something about in my house because I’ve been so inspired by what I’ve just been reading. That is the type of book I wanted to have my name on.
But it would seem that I’m starting to get really nervous about it all. You see I’m a mummy, a wife, a homemaker and a blogger. They are my qualifications. I studied the theatre not design or English or cordon bleu cooking. Everything I know I have taught myself by making mistakes along the way, absorbing huge amounts of info and millions of images, feelings and visions along the way.
I create feelings out of living environments, food, crafts and occasions. Good feelings, feelgood feelings, empowering feelings. And this is all well and good but I’m feeling insecure about entering a more public arena and taking my blog off the page and in to the hands of real live people. This process is no longer about the look and feel of the pictures, or the colour of the tablecloth used in a certain recipe.
It is about numbers and sales and column inches and stockists. I’m up against Lorraine Pascal and Nigella and Kirsty and Jamie and every other amazing author that I admire so much, but the difference is that I don’t have a TV show. In today’s climate that is almost a prerequisite for getting a book deal with a big publisher. I’ve had meetings with some production companies over the last two years. They are very exciting and allow me to get out of my leggins and hoody and head on up to London in heels. But it’s actually fairly hard, for TV folk, to pinpoint what I do. Am I a cook, a gardener, a crafter, a baker, an interior designer (!!)?.
Well, no, I’m a homemaker and I know that isn’t specific enough for those folk who like you to be in a box marked “BRUNETTE COOK WHO WEARS RED LIPSTICK” but there’s very little I can do about that until what I do is cool.
Something that is not very cool is something that happened to me just before Christmas. I was in a bookstore and I pulled a much publiscised book off the shelves and found I was basically staring at my book.
I got on the phone and spoke to people about it and how I felt I was sounding paranoid but there was absolutely no way on earth that the publishers of this book that had been rushed out could possibly have recreated parts of my book so cleverly entirely by mistake. And it turns out it wasn’t by mistake at all.
It’s tough out there.
So it’s fair to say that I’ve learnt an awful lot about a whole new world. It’s an amazing place to be and I’m very lucky. I can’t quite believe I have made it this far so to be worrying a little bit about the final stage is, I think, fairly reasonable and to be expected.
So going forward in to the most intense time of this book’s journey what is going to be my plan?
- I’m going to be staying in the moment. Keeping present, eyes to the front and reminding myself to remember and enjoy every single second.
- I’m going to be thoroughly looking forward to meeting some of you at several launch events and signings that are being planned.
- I’m going to be remembering that when I meet people who read my website I am overwhelmed with a warmth and want to take many of them home with me.
- I’m going to remember that I can tell my kids that I was once a published author in a time when there were actual paper books and you could hold them in your hand and not just read them on a screen.
- And I’m going to remember that every single word, recipe, craft or photo that is in the book is an actual part of who I am. It is what I do and will do for the rest of my life.
If I can keep those thoughts with me then I think I’ll be able to start sleeping again. It’s been a ride, a journey, an adventure and a roller coaster. And it’s only just begun.
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