So yeah. Black Lace offered me a contract (is that how you should put it it? I am so not up on bizness lingo) for my own collection of short stories, and so I will shortly be a bonafide published author, if all goes to plan.
Of course I still dream that I just imagined it all and then I wake up and its real. I still wonder how on earth I dared send off my first story after sixteen years of writing and writing and loving writing but never daring to submit. I still can't believe that Adam Nevill not only took the first story I ever submitted, but seems mad enough to believe that other stories of mine are good too, and that I deserve my own collection.
I don't know whether to keep thanking him until I die of thanking, or be concerned for his mental health. Or my own mental health. Maybe I'm actually in a loony bin imagining all of this, crayoning on the backs of cereal boxes and calling them my published works, and emailing my imaginary editor on an old broken phone strapped to a television.
But either way, I'm too excited to wee. I've been storing up wee since May.
Anyways, here is the Amazon link, Bertha. It's meant to be called The Things That Make Me Give In (minor typo being rectified. No, this is not a subtitle):
Let's revel in it, Bertha. Let's memorise it. Let's print it out and frame it along with the first ever cheque I got for published work, my first contract for a short story, the envelope the stuff came in, Adam's first email to me, the clothes I was wearing when I first got something accepted (a nightie. I came downstairs bleary eyed and alone in the house, only to find that I was now Charlotte Stein, Author, with no-one to tell. My friend called me back first - the Mighty Sef - and made me explode by saying "Is that Charlotte Stein, writer?"), a sample of the air I was breathing at the time, a napkin from the celebratory meal...
I have a lot of framed things in my house.
So anyhoo, I know I don't get to choose a cover- and wouldn't have it any other way. I'd probably have this:
But oh, I can dream of either a ladee with an expression very much like this one on the lovely Sally Hawkins' mug:
Or Matthew Macfadyen without any clothes on. Can't I?