This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
It’s December 2014, I’m sitting wearing a Christmas jumper with a gingerbread man on the front and about to watch an episode of The Apprentice. Suddenly, I get an urge to check my emails. I’m not waiting on anything in particular, but a little voice in my head tells me I should check. So I log into my emails, expecting to see the usual suspects: Amazon, Netflix, Twitter and maybe Birchbox.
It’s pretty safe to say that I don’t expect to see an unopened email from someone named Victoria Oundjian lying in my inbox, waiting to be read. The subject line: Dear Ava.
At first, I think it’s from a beta reader I sent my novel Dear Ava to a couple of months back. Then I remember I haven’t sent it to anyone named Victoria Oundjian and that in fact, I don’t know anyone by that name! Intrigued, I open the email and read. It’s from an editor at Carina UK! I remember submitting my story to them a few weeks back. A few phrases jump out at me: I enjoyed it … brilliant sparky voice … really grabbed me …There must be a ‘but’ coming, I think. In every email I’ve ever had about my book, there’s been a ‘but’.
Then I spot it, the sentence I’ve been waiting to read forever: ‘I would love to offer you a two book contract with Carina UK!’
In that single moment, all my dreams come true. Fireworks go off, a choir sings Oh Happy Day, there’s a parade in the street … OK, so none of this really happens, but I do start to scream. A lot.
I run through my house announcing my news to anyone who’ll listen. My dog Dixie follows in hot pursuit, convinced I’m playing a game. Soon, my whole family’s gathered downstairs, huddled round my laptop to read the exciting news. My head spins as I try to take everything in; there’s deal sheets and contracts to look at, things I never thought I’d see in a million years.
As I try to get my head round the fact that someone wants to publish my books, the little voice in my head – the one that told me to check my emails in the first place – whispers ‘you’ve done it’.
Just the Way You Are by Lynsey James.