Lily everywhere

It’s been a busy few weeks in the Malone household, and this is going to be one busy weekend! Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend in eastern Australia (not here in WA where I’ve now moved. No holiday for us but we had ‘WA Day’ last weekend and a Monday off work.)

I have way too much news at the moment and way too much to say, which isn’t unusual for me. In no particular order, here’s a little list of what’s going on for me, and for my characters:

  • WordPress sent me a little note yesterday that it was one year since I opened the account to start this blog. My first post was on June 12, 2012. It was called “Hello world” and if you’d like to see what was in my brain when I started blogging, take a look here. Next week I think I’ll have to have a recap of what’s happened for me in 12 months!
  • My second  published work, The Goodbye Ride novella is set on the Queen’s Birthday Holiday Long Weekend in the Adelaide Hills in the tourist mecca of the town that is Hahndorf. This means, in real time, this morning Olivia and Owen are currently steaming up the vine rows of Owen’s aunt’s vineyard.
  • Later this weekend, I’m a guest at the website www.justcontemporaryromance.com where I’m writing about the pieces of ourselves that we share in our books. The idea came from a post and discussion at Cate Ellink’s website recently, after author of The Yearning, Kate Belle, was asked whether the sex scenes in her novel were based on her own experiences. (I am sure erotica authors want to slap  interviewers who ask that question!)
  • Escape Publishing’s managing editor, Kate Cuthbert, sent me a lovely note during the week with an introduction to another West Aussie author, Eliza Redgold (author of Black Diamonds) to invite Eliza and I to write an article about how we use wine and food as inspiration for our books. This is for the Escape blog, sometime soon. (As soon as we can finish it!).
  • It’s pruning time in the vineyards. My favourite time of the year. I went for a walk yesterday on a track that goes past some of the Margaret River vineyards. They’re almost bare – all straggling and crazy trailing canes just crying out for a good haircut. Very few leaves remain and those that do are golden, so close to falling. Another few weeks here and the pruning gangs and mechanical machines will be out in force.

And meantime, The Goodbye Ride and His Brand Of Beautiful keep on keeping on. The Goodbye Ride is hovering between the 20,000 and 40,000 mark on Kindle Paid on Amazon, and His Brand Of Beautiful seems to be getting a little sales spike to, under the 100,000 this morning. Both books have had some lovely reviews and I feel like the luckiest woman in the world, doing what I do.

Life is good.

Happy Christmas, thanks for visiting

On June 11 I started my blog, quietly, without fanfare. No one blew trumpets. The world didn’t suddenly rush to read my words in absorbed hush. But in its own way, that was all okay. The anonymity of my blog helped me grow brave (braver), as the months rolled on, and I’d like to think that silence helped me find and grow my ‘blogging’ voice.

What a year it’s been. I made the finals in the RWA First Kiss competition in April; I finished His Brand Of Beautiful at least four ‘official’ times between August and October. I gave the book to a reader friend for feedback, the first time anyone outside an agent/publisher/contest judge had seen it. I joined RWA’s Critique Partners and found Kathy and Kylie; and about mid-November (after the STALI results) I deleted the first scene of the book and began it in an entirely new spot, in November.

Somewhere in there I joined Facebook too, after much deliberation, and I’m loving it. I have the sum total of 15 friends. I started with one (my sister – who never gets on Facebook anyway but at least let me try out my ‘find a friend’ abilities).

And then a wonderful thing happened.

A publisher wrote to me with magic words: “I really enjoyed your book and I want it for our line.”

And the next day: a second publisher emailed me too. And this is the one I’m going to go with because I think we can make a great fit.

But until yesterday I couldn’t help thinking that any moment the world would slap me across the face with its big fishy tail. I was sure the morning would come when I’d check my email and there’d be a note there: “I’m really sorry. I sent you the wrong email. We don’t want your book at all but Merry Christmas… good luck in the future. Keep trying…remember JK Rowling was rejected too…”

The Publishing Contract arrived in my email inbox yesterday, filled with legalese that scares the pants off a pantster like me. So now I have about 19 pages of legal stuff to wade through, but I don’t have as many Negative Nelly doubts. (Just heart palpitations about signing it.)

I wrote on Facebook a few months back that all I wanted for Christmas was: The Call. I didn’t get The Call. I got the email. But my care factor on that isn’t high.

It’s the best Christmas present I could get.

The second best Christmas present is the friends I’ve made this year, and anyone, at anytime (except the Spanish spammers!) who has visited my blog and shared a few minutes of their time with me. Kerrie Paterson (bless her cotton socks) was my 50th commenter on the blog two days ago… My all-time views busted 1000 yesterday. They now sit on 1002. Now I know this is little, but I get a huge kick out of every comment, every visitor, every view. I love reading other blogs and visiting other sites and finding new people who have such fresh ways of saying different (and sometimes the same) things.

I’m so grateful for 2012 and what it’s brought into my life, I couldn’t begin to explain. So I won’t.

Here’s big Christmas wishes to everyone, for peace and happiness and fun with family and friends.

I’ll drink to that! (Not quite yet, though. I haven’t had breakfast…)