New book deal, new hat…

Author in a top hat
See explanation below…

As you all probably know, the path to getting a book from imagination to publication is not an easy (or short) one. I’ve had the idea for this particular book knocking around in my head for years, but I didn’t feel I was ‘good enough’ to write it. Then I realised that I was never going to feel good enough, so I may as well try…

I worked on it during my MLitt a few years ago and then put it to one side. I came back to it in 2013 and finished a draft in 2014. Then I worked on revisions and rewrites with Agent Fabulous and went on submission earlier this year.

Which is when the fun really started…

There’s a lot of waiting in this game, but there is something especially torturous about the publisher-submission stage. I think it’s because you know you’re at the end of the road. The book has been accepted by your agent (or has landed you one), it’s been edited and rewritten until it feels, truly, like the best you could possibly make it, and then you’re going to get a final ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from publishers you have spent years dreaming about…

During the couple of months of nail-biting and compulsively refreshing my email inbox, I saw a lovely grey felt top hat in Edinburgh. Now, I’ve always had a soft spot for top hats. When I was a kid I used to dress up (a lot) and one of my favourite ‘creations’ was a chalk white face, dark circles drawn under my eyes and a black silk topper. True, if worrying, story.

Anyway, there was no earthly reason for me to buy a top hat. I am a 38-year-old mother of two. I no longer dress up. I live in my pyjama bottoms and occasionally scare the postie with my unkempt feral-writer look.

But my heart wanted the hat. At home, back in front of my inbox hitting ‘refresh’ like a deranged participant in a psychology experiment, I said to Lovely Husband: ‘If I get a deal for this book, can I buy a top hat?’

This is, by far, one of the less odd things I’ve said to him over the years and he didn’t bat an eyelid: ‘Of course, darling.’

Which is a very long way of explaining the picture above. I have a new book contract! My next novel is being published by Lake Union early next year in paperback, ebook and audio editions. Meeeeeeeeeep!

It’s a dual-narrative story set in a hospital in Brighton, with one strand in the present day and one in 1938. It’s part historical, part psychological thriller and the acquisitions editor at Lake Union described it as ‘The Amber Keeper meets Before I Go To Sleep‘.

This book is very close to my heart and I’m beyond thrilled that it’s found a publishing home. Thank you for reading and I look forward to tell you more about it soon!

[Image credit: My Amazing Daughter]


5 responses to “New book deal, new hat…”

  1. Carl Markham Avatar

    …Now all you need is a rabbit to complete the image, you ‘magical’ woman! Well done Sarah (again! It’s amazing to me how you manage to juggle all these balls in your life as well as being a mum with all that obviously entails – talk about ‘multi-tasking’!
    Do keep us informed about when it’s likely to hit the shelves. Does it have a title yet – or is this in the hands of the marketing crew?

    1. Sarah Avatar

      Thanks so much, Carl! Perhaps I shall get a white rabbit next time… I don’t know if the title has been finalised, yet; hopefully I’ll be able to reveal it soon!

  2. Maxi Avatar

    Do keep us posted about this. We live near Brighton so it’s definitely got that local interest feel. Any reason you chose the city? Really sounds interesting and I’m looking forward to it.

    Does this mean you are not writing for Carina anymore?

    1. Sarah Avatar

      Hi Maxi. Thanks for visiting! I chose Brighton because my Gran was a nurse on the south east coast of England and she was a big inspiration, and because the Royal Sussex Hospital suited my story purposes perfectly! Re. Carina. Yes, this book is with another publisher, but who knows after that!

      1. Maxi Avatar

        Aha! The County! I know it well. How exciting! Shall look forward to hearing what’s next re publishers x