This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
The essential piece of background information to my book deal story is that my literary agent and my mother-in-law are one and the same person. That’s not quite as strange as it seems – my MIL, Sheila, runs her own literary agency, so when I was a few chapters into my first novel I gave it to her to ask her professional opinion. She loved it, and wanted to represent me, and so we worked out a way of keeping our family and professional relationships separate and went for it.
Unbeknownst to me, my husband had bullied/bribed/begged his mum to let him know first if I got an offer, so that he could arrange a surprise celebration for me. One Saturday evening we’d just got back from a friend’s birthday barbeque, and I was slumped on the sofa, trying to summon up energy to start making dinner while my husband put our daughter to bed, when the doorbell rang. I heard Thomas answer it, and barely registered it, assuming it would be someone selling something. When I did look up I saw Sheila standing there with a very wide smile and a bottle of champagne. My mind whirled, and apparently I sat there with an attractively gaping jaw for quite some time before brain and mouth connected and I stammered “Oh my God, have I had an offer?”
I had indeed. I could barely take it in, but then I started screaming, and hugged Sheila and Thomas before dashing to the phone to call my parents, guzzling the newly opened champagne as I did so. I still hadn’t realised that Thomas was in on the act, until he told me to go upstairs and get changed because we were all going out to celebrate.
“But, what about Anna, we haven’t got a babysitter?” He dismissed my objections, and when I came back downstairs I found my best friend there – Thomas had arranged for her to come and babysit for us. A taxi was waiting outside, and whisked Thomas, Sheila and me into the City of London for more champagne in Tower 42, one of the tallest buildings in London.
It was, thanks to my lovely husband, a spectacularly special and memorable night. Just the news I was about to be a published author would have been special enough, but celebrating while drinking far too much delicious champagne and gazing down at London’s skyline on a (fairly rare!) night out which I hadn’t had to lift a finger to organise really was the icing on the cake.