If you happen to find yourself in an Irish pub over the next week, keep an eye out for The Irish Echo. (It's also available in newsagents, but I know most Irish pubs wouldn't open their doors without a copy on hand to read while having a drink) There's another GIANT photo of me, this one has to be the biggest yet, no need to zoom in to count the freckles. And a really good interview that I had with a great Irish journalist. If you see it, have a look and let me know what you think.
I got a great write up in The West Australian. A GIANT and very close up photograph too. It's one thing putting a pic up on Facebook for your 200 closest of close friends to ignore it's another seeing your face in newspaper, printed, that other people that you don't know can look at, rest their mugs of tea on and then use to line the bottom of their bin with. A bit weird, but I am so grateful for the publicity, to get Reluctantly Charmed and Kate McDaids world out there.
Culture street often ask authors to list out five books that have inspired them. I have regularly flitted through these lists and nodded or shook my head in delight or disgust. I am judgy. I'll pretend I'm not but I know that I will decide whether or not to like an author or their book based on their list - how harsh of me! I've never once considered what I would choose until last week when the dreaded question came my way. In a lifetime of books how to choose just five? I was tormented, it was terrible, terrible hard (said with a shaking, downcast head) but I struggled on and plucked five of my favorites. Go ahead, judge me.
My adopted hometown in Australia for the last three years has been Geelong, a lovely city, an hour from Melbourne and about five minutes from the beach in every direction. I've made some great friends here and it was really exciting last week to be featured by the local paper and touted as the next Bridget Jones. They also managed to take a once in a lifetime snap of Joe, Cian and I, with our eyes open and smiling (although now that I look at it again Joe is sporting more of a squint than anything) We are delighted!
I read about authors who write 'The End' pick up the phone, and their manuscript hits the presses. For me, getting published was a much longer and more painful battle. Now, in hindsight, on the other side of it I can reminisce and bravely say how I'm a better writer/person/mother/break dancer because of it. But I wish it had been easier. I wish I'd been one of those authors who just smile and shrug their shoulders and coyly say 'I got lucky'. Like a lot of people, I didn't have any contacts, and in that boat the publishing world feels like a 'Never Never Land.' Never for you Land. I knew I needed an agent, and I hammered down every conceivable door I could think of. I got countless rejections, some nice, some not so nice. The nice ones, while still saying no, often offered some advice. Initially I didn't want to hear their advice. I had a perfect book, what did they mean it needed more work? Over time I toughened up and decided that maybe, maybe I should revisit a certain chapter/character. Maybe I needed to rewrite. And I did. And I got better at it, and the book got better because of it.
My writing and romantic life collided, and I moved to Australia from Ireland for love ahhhhh......that's another story. But still unpublished, and still stubborn and determined, I decided to try for an Australian agent. At this stage Reluctantly Charmed was well polished. Now I can shrug my shoulders and smile coyly because 'I got lucky.' Jacinta di Mase picked up Reluctantly Charmed and sold it in five weeks. *Happy Sigh*
5 weeks and 5 years. We are now live people, live!
Not that I am in any situation to give advice to anyone but the lovely Debbishdotcom has asked me some great questions about getting published. You can read the interview here:
I am on a blog tour at the moment. This does not include roadies, impossible riders and transformer style buses. It does involve working from the comfort of my couch, tea in hand, and Lily Allen playing loudly. I have virtually had the pleasure of meeting with some fantastic book addicts over the last few weeks, who lovingly keep inspiring blogs on books and reading. (I thought I read a lot until I met these people, I'm at the back of the class, hiding under the desk compared to them) Here are some links to some of the interviews and reviews and if you have time, take a look around the sites, and see what a real book lover looks like
My mum, who is an amazing traveler, bounced off the flight from Ireland on Sunday. She has come out to share all of these wonderful moments that I have been having with Reluctantly Charmed. I was told that there was a possibility that Reluctantly Charmed might appear on book shelves a week prior to publication. Yesterday we hopped on the train to Melbourne on the hunt for RC.
WH Smith at Southern Cross is at the top of the escalators and as we approached I started babbling, which is a sign that I’m really nervous. ‘It won’t be here Mum, no way, like it’s far too early. This shop has lots of magazines and sweets, they won’t have it.’ I could feel my stomach turning inside out, and a little tremor racing through me. What if it was here, on a shelf, looking at me? What if this was the moment I’d worked for six years for?
‘We’ll just take a peek, we’ll be in and out in two seconds, sure we’re here now.’ Mum forever my number one cheer leader.
The books are at the back of the store and I saw it immediately. There she was, there was Kate McDaid, out in the wild, for people that don’t know me to pick up and read. We hopped, jumped, screamed and shook eachother like escapees from a tight security prison. I leaped up and down and rallied the staff in a group hug, they may have considered pushing the emergency button for help but seemed to share in my delight. We took photos and I signed some copies.
It was magic.
I am still coasting on a natural high. Dreams do come true.
One very proud Mammy!
The amazing staff at WH Smith who thankfully did not call the police on me.
Advanced Reading Copy Tears
I cried my eyes out when I put my hand on the advanced reading copy of Reluctantly Charmed. Up until that moment it had existed as a word document on my lap top and some very messy piles of A4 pages, with scribbles and coffee cup stains. But here it was looking like a book, all professional, with words and everything. My baby, my creation actually exists as it’s own entity, which is what I have worked so hard for. It was a pretty emotional day, very happy, very satisfying and more than a little bit unbelievable.
WARNING – may cause tears