Remember how I wrote that ol’ book? It’s almost two years since Transworld signed me up. The whole publishing process has been the most mental rollercoaster ride and it feels strange to have barely mentioned it, especially when I documented all the other rollercoasters of the past eight years. I was quiet during the book deal and book writing process due to fear of cocking it up then quiet once it was published for fear of sounding like a self-promoting smug git.
But it has been a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience and I need to get down some of these memories before they fall out of my head. There’s so many details in the WNP archives that I’d never have remembered had I not blogged them at the time. I know there’s only three people reading WNP now thanks to my criminal neglect (and that’s not because I’m too smug and happy to blog, as it has been suggested; just sideswiped by bastard job, etc etc) but I hope you guys won’t mind me wittering on about this author stuff.
Every time I’ve tried to write on WNP this year I’ve been kind of paralysed with self-consciousness so I’m going to start over and remember how I just used to write about stupid things that happened in my life for the pure hell of it. Woohoo!
To get started here is a wee thing I wrote for Trashionista about life after publishing.
. . .
Sometimes it’s still hard to believe I’m a proper published author. There’s a dent in the living room ceiling from a champagne cork, popped on the day I signed the deal for Dietgirl, yet apart from that my life looks much the same. I get up, I go to work, I swear at the computer, I come home; I watch University Challenge.
But then I get to have all these delicious Author Moments. Like skulking around doing interviews. I run home at lunchtime to chat to Spanish radio stations; I yak to Australia in the dead of night. I sneak into empty offices, hoping the boss doesn’t catch me as I tell yet another journalist how I gained all that weight.
“Nutella!” I hiss down the line, “Yes. That’s right. I used to eat it from the jar with a spoon. S-P-O-O-N!”
Then there’s all the book stalking. I remember the very first sighting – 23rd December, 1PM, face out and snuggled up to Gordon Ramsay’s bio at the local WH Smith. I took photos from five different angles then stood there poking the cover, making sure it wasn’t a mirage.
I’ve managed to curb the habit now, but for weeks I was drawn into every passing bookshop with the same irresistible lure I once felt for the dessert bar at Pizza Hut. My mood soared or slumped depending on whether or not the book was stocked, where it was placed and/or the number of copies. When my publisher told me that ASDA had taken it on, I dragged my husband Gareth around three different stores to witness this first hand. The first two stores didn’t have it, and the third had an empty space on the shelf with a plastic label beneath: Amazing Advents, Shauna Reid.
“They don’t have it!” I whimpered.
“They might have sold out!”
“Or maybe they changed their minds and never got it in the first place!”
“This is a very tumultuous time for you, isn’t it?” said Gareth. “And consequently, for me also.”
Best of all has been the lovely surprise of reader emails. Again, I’ll always remember the first, from Verity in Warwickshire. I nearly wrote back, Mum? Is that you? I couldn’t believe someone had read the book without being nagged by me to do so.
Since then I’ve had warm emails, funny emails and emails so heartbreaking that I drip snot and tears on the keyboard. I’ve even had a few confessions: “OMG, I thought I was the only one who ate Nutella with a spoon!”