Haven't started packing yet but have bought a new outfit(s) in my once every five years shopping spree. Slight panic as I realise I can no longer retreat into the safety of a cheap suit. Smart casual, what's that?
So...this time last year it all kicked off. I've my diary open on 14/03/08 and it's:
I've signed with Hyperion! The book publishing branch of Disney for $(yeah, right. Like I was going to put that in)!
It certainly has been an insane 12 months, far exceeding everything I could have hoped for. Last year the idea of attending Bologna belonged in Neverland, and now I have a ticket and hotel reservation. I have a full itinerary.
My thoughts on the last 12 months are well documented in this blog but I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who's helped get me here. So, if you'll indulge me I'll get into my 'Oscar' mode:
My agent, Sarah. I never understood why EVERYONE thanks their agent until Sarah came along. Talent and a vague understanding of sentence structure will only get you so far, it's the agent who makes it life-changing. She's done it for a few now, most recently Jon Mayhew and Michael 'Leonidas' Ford, and the woman works like a Trojan. I'm very very lucky to have her as my guru and friend.
Everyone who's helped me with reading my early early work. That's Mona, Nusho, Ruth, Alison and John primarily, as well as a few others. Thanks for pretending it was okay!
Helen, Lee and Kathryn at Cornerstones. If you've vaguely followed my progress you'll know all about them already. Certainly wouldn't be here without you folks and your stirling advise and enthusiasm.
The SCBWI crew. The Undiscovered Voices has brought a number of writers to the fore and I'm very proud of the company I keep. I'm sure there'll be a few more in the next 12 months but, blimey, what a start!
To Matt, for allowing me to get intouch with my sibling rivalry and 'encouraging' (actaully more like 'forcing') me to give up the day job. Best move I ever made.
The Puffin gang and the Hyperion posse. Publishers do what they do for the love of their profession. You get paid a lot more in construction but having been in both I know where I want to stay. Lins and Ari have had huge patience in my meandering rewrites. That's the absolutely BEST thing about writing and the publishing industry in general, the endless enthusiasm and passion for 'the books'.
My family and wife and two girls. My daughters and the reponsibilty of parenthood was the catalyst in starting my life over again which is why everything is dedicated to them.
Really, I'm having a BLAST and it's thanks to you guys! Ice creams are on me.