In which I clear my throat and offer an announcement


That was the throat clearing. Here’s the announcement.

I am absolutely beyond delighted to announce that I have signed a contract with Choc Lit Lite to publish my first novel. I’m ecstatic to have signed with Choc Lit – they’re a really forward-looking exciting publisher, with a really good reputation for working with their authors and developing new talent. Waaaaaaah!

Obviously I’m a teensy bit excited about becoming a published author, but at the moment the whole thing feels utterly unreal. Fortunately I’ve just spent the weekend at the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference where there were lots of other published Choc Lit authors I was able to poke to check that they were really really real. After they’d got over the poking we even took a big group photo.

In which I appear to be a giant
(taken by Lizzie Lamb)

We don’t seem to have all managed to look at the same camera in this one, and I do appear to be quite huge – there’s a learning point there about not standing at the front when having your photo taken with thin people – but nonetheless it’s a Choc Lit Authors picture and I’m in it! Huzzah!

At this point I do need to thank just a couple of people. You have three choices about how to read this next bit. You can: a) take a very deep breath and just rattle through it as quickly as possible; b) do the full-Gwyneth and read the whole thing aloud with appropriate sobbing; c) scan quickly for your own name and ignore the rest. If your name isn’t there, it’s because I’m stupid and I’ve messed up and missed you out – unless I’ve never met, emailed, tweeted, written, phoned, texted or spoken to you in my life, in which case, seriously, what were you expecting?

So, in no particular order, thank-you to all of the following who have helped, supported, not ridiculed my attempts to do writing…

Deborah Catesby, Dawn Hudd, Holly Magill, Candi Miller, Tamara Bolger, Anne Milton, Lisa Bodenham, Kate Johnson, Julie Cohen, everyone who I’ve been on one of Julie Cohen’s lovely writing courses with, everyone I’ve ever taught on a creative writing course, the entirety of the RNA but particularly Melanie Hilton and the NWS readers, Helen Harron, my mum and dad (if you’re reading this in Gwyneth style you probably need to weep a bit here), the Choc Lit Tasting Panel, everyone else at Choc Lit, Tim Butler, Tony Judge, Dunstan Power, Clive Eardley, Taliah Drayak, Polly Robinson, all the RNA Conference speakers for the last 3 years (every last one of them), Katie Fforde, Greg Mosse, Kate Hill, Deema Davidson, Rich Badley, Eva Cubero, Isabel Phillips, all the lovely writers and readers on Twitter, the RNA Birmingham Chapter, everyone who has let me play at being a writer on their blog – a big hand for Nikki Goodman and the Write Romantics, everyone I’ve got pished near in an RNA kitchen – I’m looking at you Immi Howson, Jane Lovering, Ruth Long, Jules Wake, Talli Roland, Sarah Callejo, Jane Tranter, Denise Deegan, Colette Caddle, Brigid Coady and others too numerous and fabulous to list – and finally EngineerBoy for his most excellent services to engineering and mortgage paying, while I work the whole penniless writer vibe. Thank you all. Some of you will know how you helped. Some of you won’t ever read this or even know who I am, but thank you all the same.

Right. Gushing over. Time to get bum on seat, fingers on keyboard and actually do this writing lark for real. I’ll be back to the blog tomorrow to tell you all about what happened at the RNA Conference this year. Be warned – it will almost certainly involve pictures of shoes.