Five years ago today, I achieved the biggest and brightest professional ambition I had ever had - to become a published author. THE CHERRY TREE CAFE had been submitted to the Books and The City #OneDay in 2014 and almost a year to the day it was published in e-book format. The cover looked a little different then, but not all that different to the version we know and love today.
I still have a copy of this original cover pinned up on my kitchen pin board and I still get butterflies every time I look at it. Opening the email attachment when it arrived was a heart stopping moment as I came face to face with someone else's interpretation of what the book should look like in picture format. Pip Watkins, the super talented designer had completely captured the very essence of what I was hoping for and she has continued to do so with every book I've written since.
Obviously, I didn't have a paperback copy to swoon over on publication day, but I did have the bunting we had created at S and S Towers, along with the cover in the kitchen and the screenshot downloaded on my e-reader. I can't deny that I felt like the bees knees that day and it makes me feel quite heady to think back and recapture that excitement. I still feel it every publication day of course, but not in quite the same way and I will always be grateful to the fabulous bloggers who championed me from the very first page, along with my family, readers and RNA friends who turned out to celebrate with me.
A lot has happened in my life during the last five year and I'm now working on Book 12, but none of it would have been possible if I hadn't plucked up the courage to press send and submit that manuscript to Sara-Jade Virtue and the fabulous Books and The City Team.
And that's the real purpose of this post - to tell YOU that if you have a dream, no matter how big and far away it feels right now, keep striving to reach it. Seek out those opportunities, work hard, never give up and you'll find a way of achieving it.
I did, and there's nothing special or out of the ordinary about me. Go for it, don't be embarrassed, don't let lack of confidence hold you back, just give it your all and you'll get there!
With love and so much thanks for all your support