70s House Book - Publishing Deals and How I became an Author.
It’s been a while, so as promised I thought I had better update you on how I came to be an author, with my first book being published next month (March 2023).
Way back in September 2021 I had an email through my customer enquiries form on my website, asking if I wanted to contribute to a book, I glanced over the email and promptly forgot about it in the long list of things that I was working on that day. My partner Stephen asked later that night had I replied to the email about a book, and I dismissed it saying they probably just wanted to use an image from Instagram and that I would reply. Knowing me as he does and my tendency to completely forget to do things due to executive dysfunction (a huge part of having ASD) he said REPLY NOW and ask for more information, and I did, in a rather disgruntled fashion and feeling rather churlish that I was being made to do something immediately rather than procrastinate for a week. A reply returned asking to call me, which we arranged a time to speak, but no more details were forthcoming, at this point I had absolutely no idea what was about to happen.
“What, me? A Book? REALLY?”
I took the call, one Friday afternoon, still assuming that they simply wanted my permission to use an image, however the caller was from Kyle Octopus, a publishing imprint of the mighty Hachette, a behemoth in the publishing world and the person (who would later become my amazing commissioning editor and friend) actually asked if I would like to pitch a book to their marketing team. They had followed me on social media for some time and were big fans and wanted me to actually write my own book. To say I was in shock was an understatement but incredibly flattered and excited. There was one proviso, I was not to mention this to anyone (apart from close family and friends), which would end up being one of the biggest and hardest secrets that I have ever had to keep.
I have always loved writing, I love the process of being able to put thoughts onto a piece of paper to create a picture in your head, or to explain something technical. I had spent 20 years in my previous career writing detailed instructions on how to make items of clothing in the luxury fashion industry, carefully ensuring that each word mattered and was clear and concise. I enjoyed writing short comments on social media and had started to keep a (sporadic) blog some time before. I loved writing dissertations at University, the process of researching a subject, learning and then forming your own ideas and putting pen to paper…. AND THEN, here I was, suddenly faced with writing a book pitch, for something that was really important to me, my own book!
I wanted to impress them, but not overwhelm them, I wanted to keep it punchy, but also entice them to want me to write more, needless to say I went into a blind panic and did what I usually do that this time, I spent hours hyper focussing and researching what to do in this situation. Eventually I emailed my editor and asked what they hell were they looking for, I pulled something together, one morning after a good week of worrying about it, writing a little about myself and a short piece on something in the house that I was passionate about, I still had no idea what I was going to write a book about but I put down a list of things that I thought people might be interested in as topics to work on which would then become the outline for chapters in the book, I emailed it off and waited…
Part of my initial book pitch to Kyle/Octopus - September 2021
THE LONGEST TWO WEEKS OF MY LIFE….
When I got the call that they wanted me to write a book, and not only that but they wanted me to write a BIGGER book than they first anticipated I was completely blown away. I had hoped that my hard work would garner the result I wanted, but now I was faced with contracts and deadlines which was completely overwhelming, but my fabulous editor walked me through the entire process. By this time, it was November and the contracts would not be finalised until early December 2021, at which point I thought…. “I’ll start the book in January 2022”
To be continued….
You can pre order my first book HERE which publishes on 30th March 2023/ 4th April 2023 USA, this link contains a wide range of national and international stockists and also includes some independent stockists if you prefer to use them.
If you are in the UK you can enter the giveaway competition to win a 70s House Starter Kit by uploading your pre order receipt, potentially winning a prize worth over £750, including Yootha Wallpaper, a Mathmos Lava Lamp, Space-age Terrarium and a leopard head planter - ENTER HERE