To start at the start would take ages, we'd be going... ooh, miles back: early eighties, shoulder pads, big, scary hair. To be honest even starting in the middle would take a while. Not as long I admit: the noughties. Good times, interesting nights. Terrifying mornings. But even so. Too long.
I'll start at the end, depending on your point of view. Think of it as reincarnation. Something was born. It grew. It lived. It's moving on to a new spiritual plain.
It happened on a Friday, and now my job bores me. Now I have something better. I hope.
On the Thursday I get rejection letters numbers thirteen and fourteen. Not the end of the world I know. Many better writers than me have suffered through many, many more. But still. It was hard. The elation of finally finishing the book, after four years of stolen hours and scribbled text, was gone. Almost a year since it was ready to leave it's family home, and still no where to go. I didn't cope well.
By Friday morning a new message was in my inbox and I stared at it through last nights fug, through the stink of rum which seeped from my pores. I was not looking forward to work. Teaching is tough. Teaching hungover worse, and no one ever offers sympathy.
This message was different. It contained a phone number.
So far my rejections had been simple and to the point. Thanks but no thanks, very sorry, blah blah. This one had a phone number. A number they actually wanted me to ring.
Cautiously I rang it.
I almost forgotten about the competition. It seemed so distant. So pointless. One more thing I would be disappointed by.
I was wrong...
Ladies and Gentlemen, please, put your hands together for one of the winners of Tonto Books New Writers Prize:
I won't lie to you. It felt great. Congrats to me, and congrats to the other worthy winner Sarah Shaw. Nicely done the two of us.
Like I said, starting at the end. I won. A publishing contract, a mentor, a new spiritual plain. No more white label rum. I'm getting brands now...
I read my new mentor's book - In Search of Adam. I was scared. I read the synopsis, I looked at the cover. I judged it, like she judged mine. It didn't seem my sort of thing.
Once again: I was Wrong.
Suddenly I'm not just excited about getting published. I'm excited about working with an author whom has very quickly become a firm favourite. The prose is addictive. I stayed in over the weekend. I read it in bed into the wee hours.
The story unfolded so naturally, so elegantly.
On the off chance anyone cares about my opinion: This is well worth a read.
Here we go.
You and me. Or maybe just me, no pressure.
It happened on a Friday, and now my job bores me.
And now I can tell everyone:
I am a writer.