You read that correctly. I said 'no'. And I like saying 'yes' to opportunities, to doors being opened, to the magic of the universe making way for me.
But after a lot of deliberation and advice (thank you to everyone who answered my cry for help), my gut instinct on this was a slow-boat to 'no'.
The main reason for turning down the offer (after the initial thrill of excitement had worn off), was because it was for digital publication only (in the first instance) and my dream (however vain) is to see my work in print.
How could I have a book launch without a book?
So I said no, and now I sit back and wonder...was it the right decision? Will I live to regret it? What happens if I never get a publishing deal?
The truth is I haven't approached any other publishers, so as far as options go, the Writers & Artists Yearbook listings for UK publishers/agents is my proverbial oyster. Writing is indeed a waiting game.
Waiting for the idea. Tick.Waiting for the right time to start. (You should never do that. Don't do that. Just start!) Tick.Waiting for the words to flow and for the character to start chattering in your head. Tick.Waiting it out, biding your time until the story is written. Tick.Waiting to edit. (Words need time to relax and distill.) Tick.Waiting for the right opportunity. Saying 'no' to the wrong deals. Tick.Waiting to be noticed (never going to happen - you have to be proactive). Tick.And when the deal is finally done?Probably waiting for the day the book is available in the shops.Then waiting for the reaction.Then doing it all again.
But I love writing and I'm prepared to wait. Writing is my calling and my passion.
The characters and their voices want to flow through my fingers, their thoughts becoming my words.
It's the ordering of them that poses a problem. And the editing. The research and the finessing. No I like the research - it's where the book takes flight as the strands of the story begin weaving together.
The wildly scribbled notes and the nuggets of pure gold when you know you're onto something, a tangent, a twisting narrative path that could really lead somewhere, anywhere...
The whole act of it is like an illness, an addiction to the cause.
I'm waiting in the wings, but I won't give up.
I WILL SEE MY DEBUT NOVEL IN PRINT!
The End. (For now.) Tick.