By Charlotte Comley
One of the wonderful things about being the Celebration Editor is that you get a real insight into what happens after you achieve that publishing dream. Today, Lu Hersey shares her success story with us.
Lu Hersey writes:
Better Late then Never
When you finally get a publishing deal, the time between signing the contract and the actual publication of the book can feel like EONS. During the long months (often over a year) of waiting time, you enviously watch news of other writers ahead of you, tweeting their book covers, getting all those accolades from the press and lovely congratulations from other writers – including you of course. Obviously you really want them to succeed and wish them all the best. But you start to wonder if it’s ever going to be your turn. Like, this side of death would be good…
Anyway, the publication and book launch of my debut novel, Deep Water, finally arrived this July – and I discovered that the seemingly endless wait was actually no time at all. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, so here’s a piece of advice for any new writers - BE PREPARED!
I wasn’t. I thought I was, but I really wasn’t. I mean, what did I do with all that time for goodness sake? Did I have blog pieces all written ready to go? Had I composed press releases for local press? Arranged a tour of bookshops to schmooze with booksellers? Had I buffalo.
Here’s a case in point – the Celebration page in Words & Pictures. I had every intention of writing a piece when Deep Water came out, saying how fabulous it all was. So now it’s December. Have I done it yet? Well actually, yes. This is kind of it – five months late.
But although the launch party champagne may have gone flat, here’s something different I’d like to celebrate instead. Deep Water has just been shortlisted for the Wirral Paperback of the Year Award.
I’m over the moon about this, because it’s an award judged by school librarians and school kids. Who could be more important to a YA writer than their audience?
At a time of school library cutbacks in the Wirral (and across the country), the Award is a big jamboree organised on a voluntary basis by school librarians (these people are SUPERHEROES). It gives local teenagers from 15 different schools all round the Wirral Peninsula something to get involved with, meeting authors and reading books aimed at them, and getting to vote for their favourite.
Whether I win or not, I really don’t mind. Just the opportunity to meet the teen readers, and the librarians who care about kids’ books enough to organise this event and celebrate children’s literature, is enough. I’m truly honoured to be shortlisted. And I think it’s something to celebrate!