2013 was a brilliant year for me.
I met the lovely Belinda Jones who was so lovely, so supportive, so encouraging. I just don’t think I would have continued with my writing if it wasn’t for her fighting my corner every step of the way. Through her and Sunlounger I met Laurey Buckland who gave me so much advice on how to self publish.
In October my debut novel The Sentinel was published. I was so scared that no one would buy it, or worse that no one would like it, but it was embraced and loved by everyone that read it. The reviews were outstanding and people I had never met or spoken to took the time to write to me about how much they loved it. That meant so much to me. It hit bestsellers lists too.
In November I sat alongside Harlan Coben and Anthony Horowitz in the action adventure chart. At the time of writing this The Sentinel is on two bestsellers lists in the UK and one in the US. I can’t believe I can say that I’ve written a bestseller, that is incredible.
Then in November, the unbelievable happened. I got a call from Lucy Gilmour from Carina/Harlequin to say my story The Guestbook had won the Festival of Romance Valentine’s competition and instead of offering me the prize of a one book deal they were so impressed by my story they wanted to offer me a three book deal. I cannot tell you what this means to me. The Guestbook will be published on Valentine’s Day and I can’t wait to share it with you. I literally have not stopped smiling since. I’ve been trying for four years to get published and, when I had almost given up all hope it finally happened. I also now have an agent, the wonderful Madeleine Milburn who has supported me every step of the way.
But my best part of 2013 was the rather late discovery of Twitter. You’re thinking ‘Really, Twitter? That was your best bit?”
Let me explain.
Through Twitter I have met the most amazing people who I now class as my friends. There are so many people that I want to mention, here are a few.
The authors. Sharon Sant, Jack Croxall and Jaimie Admans; hugely talented authors who took the time to support me, encourage me, hold my hand when I was panicking wildly, helped to promote The Sentinel and replied patiently to every email I sent with all the stupid questions I asked about self publishing. You guys are amazing and I love you for it.
The bloggers, oh so many to name them all. But I especially want to thank Victoria (Victoria Loves Books), Kirsty (Love of a Good Book) and Megan (Reading in the Sunshine). Your continual gushing, your love for The Sentinel men, your wonderful reviews, thank you so much. You’ve tirelessly promoted The Sentinel, you’ve blogged about it, told others about it. You’ve really taken The Sentinel into your hearts and I love you all so much.
Oh dear, this post is turning into a bit of a love fest. I will be crying like Gwyneth Paltrow at her Oscar speech next.
My debut twin, Aven Ellis who released her brilliant book, Connectivity, on the same day as The Sentinel, we have remained friends ever since, supporting each other through all the good times and the bad.
Some more lovelies who have chatted to me, supported me, tweeted and retweeted for me and generally made me laugh. Lisa Dickenson, Rosie Blake, Sharon Benjamin, Erin McEwan, Jess Bickerton, Dan Thompson, Charli Kimmis, Trish H, Lisa Forester, Laura Lovelock, Kelly Rufus, Rowan Coleman, Louise Marley, Pernille Hughes, Kate Gordon, Kate Guest, Kiri Mills, Pat Elliott, Carolyn Aspenson, Sharon Wilden, Jo Hurst, Louise Wykes, Zoe Markham oh gosh there’s so many of you and I’m sorry if I’ve forgotten any of you, but you are all wonderful, kind, friendly, lovely people and I feel so blessed that Twitter has put me in touch with so many of you. I’ve known some of you for just a few months but I’m looking forward to getting to know you all better over 2014.
And one of the great things about Twitter is being able to share in your stories as well, the big, the small, the funny, the sad. I’m glad I get to be a part of it all with you.
2013 was a great year, but I hope 2014 will be awesome for all of us.
Love you all and Happy New Year.