So … in the many years I’ve imagined the first meeting with ‘my’ publishers, it never included cranberry biscuits, hilarity, discussion of dalliances in Berlin garden colonies, joining the Nigel Slater mutual appreciation society and a complete failure on my part to take any notes or be even a bit literary.
I’d always had a much more frightening scenario in mind: Armani suits, views over the Thames, thimbles of Italian coffee, abstruse gossip about literary luminaries. What actually transpired: mugs of tea, discussion of the relative merits of Wellingtons and hiking boots for digging allotments and lots of laughter added up to much more pleasant and relaxing experience. I felt at home. I liked the team. I very much liked the team! Finding points of engagement with the people who will be editing, publicising and selling the book was much easier than I’d ever expected, perhaps because this book deals with a subject that I’m passionate about, and they were fascinated by.
There were a couple of moments when I had the surreal experience of stepping outside myself and realising that yes, this was it: this was me talking to my publishers and it wasn’t daunting or tense, but those moments soon passed.
Publishers are people too – and mine are extremely nice. Who knew?
PS – the picture shows crochet lavender hearts, on sale this weekend at the Weald Allotments Open Day and Open Sheds, Hove (actually). Proceeds go to the RSPCA and I will be there if you’ve ever wondered what I do when I’m not writing (or making crochet hearts, obviously).