I started writing – for real, not just scribbles in the many journals my Dad bought me – about two and a half years ago. I was enrolled in my Masters in Arts (Literary Studies). I enrolled thinking it would be a good string to my bow in my career as a librarian. I was working in a high school at the time and so I enrolled in a unit in YA literature. The unit was half theory/half creative, and for the creative portion we had to write a short story.
It was during this unit that I discovered I cannot write short stories.
I got to the end of my word limit and realised that my “short story” was actually a first chapter – the first chapter of my first ever novel, Dear Sally Sunshine.
Dear Sally Sunshine was a simple story about a secret admirer who helps a geeky girl find her strength. It was also the book that found me my amazing agent, and helped me to meet the incredible team at Allen and Unwin, who will, in October, publish my first published novel, Three Things About Daisy Blue.
Three Things About Daisy Blue has been the making of me as a writer. It taught me to plan, draft, edit, redraft, work to deadlines, take and use editorial guidance. It also taught me this is what I want to do, as a job, for the rest of my life.
Three Things About Daisy Blue doesn’t come out until October (and between now and then I will experience another big milestone – my first European trip), but the process has begun. In the past week I have seen a book jacket, found myself on the “Title Page” book database we use for work, and heard from a friend that Three Things About Daisy Blue was presented as a “highlight” at the Allen and Unwin conference.
It feels real now.
I know I will get a chance to thank people inside the book jacket (squee), but I really want to do it right now as well.
So! My eternal gratitude goes to my precious Mum, Dad and brother Richard, and my fabulous in-laws; to Nan, Jodie and Eva; to my best friend, Julia, and her best man, Ryan; to my North Westie mates; to my colleagues at the bookynook; to my Nan and Auntie Shirley; to my Twitter peeps who are a constant support; to Mephistopheles Danger Gordon, my writing companion; to beloved Dolly; to my Mures Writing Group; and finally, to the Husband Bear, without whom my heart would not beat.
Enough of that! Getting teary!
I know this week is just another step on an amazing journey, but it feels momentous and I feel so privileged.