Most of the blogs I've put on this site have been short snippets of news or have been about my writing process. There's little that, as a former news reporter, I'd deem properly newsworthy in any way.
All that changed last week when my next novel, Anatomy of a Scandal, was sold to Simon & Schuster, together with a second, in an auction on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair. I even featured as a page lead on the first Bookseller Daily - complete with a more serious - some have said scary - black and white profile pic:
I'm obviously completely delighted - and am thrilled that the novel I wrote out of contract, but with a strong conviction that this was a story I had to tell, has resonated not only in the UK but with publishers elsewhere. Before I'd even had a UK preempt, Anatomy had been preempted in Italy and France. It's also been preempted in Spain; been sold in a Norwegian auction; and I have offers from Germany, Turkey, Russia and Lithuania. As I write, the novel is out on submission in the US.
If this all sounds terribly cocky, then no one has been more surprised than me by the speed and certainty of these offers. Writing can be a lonely, doubt-filled process and it's only when I start editing and rereading ahead of submission that I begin to think: "Perhaps this isn't too bad." And then: "Actually, I can do this"
Or perhaps that's slightly disingenuous. Anatomy of a Scandal is a novel I wanted to write for three years; something that I feel passionate about; and that - if everything is copy, as Nora Ephron famously said - contains an awful lot of me. It's darker and more emotional in tone than my two previous novels: a novel that explores questions that I think are being asked at the moment across many cultures as the breadth of countries offering to publish suggests.
I'm a perfectionist but even I knew, as I finished this, that this was a novel I'd really want to read.
I'm so incredibly grateful to my agent, Lizzy Kremer; the rights team at David Higham Associates, and my new editors, notably Jo Dickinson at S&S.
Because, thanks to them, the suspicion that this is a novel worth reading has become a certainty. And, thanks to them, it won't just be by me.