When Iain Dale, the publisher of Biteback Publishing said, way back in October, that he wanted to publish my non-fiction manuscript Seller Beware: How Not To Sell Your Business, April seemed a long way away. I knew I was very lucky that I’d found the perfect publisher so quickly, and that Iain had given me a publishing date only six months away, as usually it’s more like a year before it becomes a precious book.
The weeks and months from October to April slid by in what’s called ‘life’, sometimes dragging, sometimes flying. I’m looking after my estranged husband who has undergone major surgery and is now having chemotherapy. Having a man in my house where I’ve lived alone for the last 20 years is quite a shock, let alone in a new role of carer. However, it’s not been as bad as I’d feared, as he’s got a positive attitude and is quite a grateful patient most of the time. If he’s not acting grateful I don’t hesitate to remind him to become so!
But if I hadn’t had the book to look forward to being published, getting stuck into the final polish after Sam Carter, my lovely editor, advised me on a few minor points, and the excitement of looking at the book cover, ordering bookmarks, a banner, arranging book launches/talks in Tunbridge Wells and London, and a myriad other things to do, I would have gone cuckoo feeling trapped in my own house.
Sometimes I’ve managed to get away for a day, or an evening. I think it’s important for carers to try to get away on a regular basis. I always come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle my nursing role again.
Publication day was last Tuesday (9 April) and I decided to slip away to London and stay overnight at my club in Mayfair, the University Women’s Club, to celebrate, even if I had to down a couple of glasses of bubbly on my own. I just wanted to feel it was a special day. Luckily, I have a sister who lives close by and she said she would give my husband his supper and keep an eye on him.
At the Club the Events Manager, Lorraine Carroll, introduced me to a new member, an American woman called Monica, who was waiting for her friend, Jenny, also an American. They were both career women and married to Englishmen, so the UK was their home. What delightful companions they were. They insisted I join them for dinner. The Club excelled itself and the bubbly, followed by a good white wine, flowed as easily as the conversation. I really enjoyed it as they had made it feel so special. I ended up nviting them to my launch party at the Club on the 30th April, and they said they couldn’t wait to read the book. We’ve all promised to keep in touch. Jenny mentioned a close friend, an American called Chris, who is a literary agent and works in New York. He could come in useful for my future novels…