This week the two-book deal I signed with Simon & Schuster Canada was announced on Publishers' Marketplace and Quill & Quire. There must be a word to describe this exact feeling, the mix of joy and relief and fear and wonder and gratitude and validation. Maybe the word is thrilled. I am thrilled to now be a part of the Simon & Schuster Canada’s 2015 roster. I am thrilled that editor extraordinaire Martha Sharpe is working on the manuscript with me to get it stage ready. I am thrilled that I’m supposed to write a second book to go with the first. Scary – in a good way. The thought of a cover with my name on it, of my novel on a shelf in a bookstore… thrilling.
There’s also the humbling act of counting out everyone who’s played a part. Ian... in so many more ways than I can count, but also my parents and sisters, my three boys, my whole family, my amazing agent Chris Bucci, my sage Kendall Anderson, my first reader/thesis champion Lisa Moore, my earliest and gentlest readers, my friends and neighbours, my retreat partner Mariska Gatha, the women in my book club, my UBC cohort, my teaching colleagues, my students. A hundred more names to add to these.
In the first week after the offer came, when I was still too stunned to process it, it happened more than once that someone else's joy in the news reminded me that this was what I’ve wanted, this is why I’ve worked so hard for so long. People brought me champagne and insisted I stop for a minute to raise a glass. Forget about the logistics - how will it all get done? – and savour it.
And in my short time on the inside, I’ve been caught up in the swell of fiercely devoted and intelligent people who make up the book industry, who love books and work tirelessly to put them in our hands. It’s encouraging no matter what the realities of publishing might be these days.
I can’t wait for what the next year brings.