23 September Dear Diary – so sorry for ignoring you lately, but I’ve been busy …ta da da da! I’ve finished it! Finally! My book! A whole book! With proper paragraphs and commas and fullstops and words (some of them with more than two syllables). Surprisingly, it’s not called The Misuse of Exclamation Marks and Inappropriate Hyperbole!
It’s called The Housewife’s Guide to Homicide and it’s out on Amazon now. As we speak. Selling like hot cakes already (Mr Young rushed to his laptop and bought a copy as soon as I told him to).
It’s hilarious, full of black, kitchen-sink humour, with a heroine I am particularly fond of because she not only talks to herself in supermarkets (just like me), but she plays poker online (just like me), falls in love with a tall dark stranger (just like me – that’s you, Mr Young, you fool – just in case you’re reading my diary and invading my privacy yet again), and loves peanut butter sandwiches (just like me). But, it’s not a book about me. It can’t be because (a) she is called Alice and (b) she kills two men and very resourcefully buries them in her back garden, therefore not me (although it’s true that I have been more than usually forgetful lately).
Publishing a book is much more daunting that I thought it would be, though. It’s like sending your child off for their first day at school. Very exciting when the big moment finally arrives and you wave goodbye at the gates, but very scary while you sit at home, counting the hours until you have to collect them, wondering whether they will come bounding out with a proud smile and an indecipherable crayon drawing, or in tears because someone pushed them in the playground and they’ve lost their Peppa Pig lunchbox.
24 September Sales of my book are climbing slowly but surely. (Lucy has also bought a copy.) All I have to do is wait for five stars to appear on the Amazon site from someone who doesn’t admit to being related to me, and it’s bound to be a hit.
The only fly in the ointment is J K Rowling, whose first adult novel is being launched this week. The competition may be fierce. Fifty Shades of Grey still seems to be selling well, too, and even appearing on the shelves in Waitrose. I know they are branching out with ever more exotic produce – no one was more excited than me when chargrilled aubergines and buffalo mozzarella started featuring regularly in the chilled section – but pornography at eye level is puzzling. Perhaps they’re under the impression it’s a cookery book. Albeit an unappetising one, let’s face it. It’s a bit like those mysteriously situated sex shops that have started turning up by the side of main roads. Sometimes, when Mr Young and I are in the car, we may get an urge for a KitKat or some peanut M&Ms, but we’ve never yet had to make an emergency stop for a PVC nurse’s uniform.
26 September Yes, more copies have now been bought. At this rate, I shall be a poundionaire by the end of the week. Ha, J K Rowling, eat your heart out!
28 September A major setback – J K Rowling’s book is now out and everyone is reviewing it and discussing it. I haven’t yet been asked to do a radio interview, and Waterstones have shown no interest at all, but I expect it’s only a matter of time.
29 September Mr Young and I celebrate my first week of being a published author with a trip to the tip. Tom has cleared his room out – in readiness for re-decoration – and a surprising amount of Stuff has been unearthed. Mr Young grumbles all the way down the stairs as he carries the Stuff (I am in a supervisory role) and grumbles all the way to the tip once he has loaded the Stuff into the back of the car, but is really very chirpy on the way home. No doubt this is because of the cathartic effect of actually going to the tip and offloading all that Stuff. I am not quite so chirpy, as I am wondering if we actually took the right pile of Stuff to the tip. I know that Tom said one pile was for keeping, and one pile was for getting rid of, but they both looked very similar to me. It’s always been hard to tell with Tom’s Stuff, to be honest. But I am 75% confident. And anyway, if needs be, I can buy him another load of Stuff once my book sales soar to double figures.
Now I just need to plan a marketing campaign for my book, while I wait for Waterstones/Radio 4 to call.
I’m could construct a sandwich board for Mr Young to wear and get him to pace up and down outside our house. Failing that, I shall just have to send the link out to as many people as possible, and ask them to send it out to as many people as possible, and make sure they all give me five stars on Amazon.
I bet that’s what J K Rowling’s doing.