It's been a bit of a week all round. Last week a piece I wrote for the magazine Mature Times appeared online. The editor of our local paper spotted it and asked if he could use it, too. Not being mercenary, and knowing that all our local papers are teetering on the brink, I agreed. The chief reporter told me he'd already nicked it! Surprisingly, it appeared in full with a rather old picture of me (they have quite a library of pictures of me at our local paper) on Thursday. Yesterday, Friday, a friend with whom I was having a text conversation told me it was in another Kent paper, so I have been syndicated. Gosh.
Then, also yesterday, simultaneously on Twitter and Facebook, two friends told me I had a Full Page Ad in The Bookseller, which is THE industry publication. The one that does the REAL best seller lists and we all want to keep on the best side of. (How's that for bad grammar?) Anyway, without me knowing, my wonderful publishers, Accent Press, had taken this full page ad to promote the re-jacketing and the publication of the tenth book in the series. Cue huge reaction from friends both in and out of the business. Children thrilled, but rather surprised. As for me, well, I spent the evening - alone, naturally - fizzing with happiness, especially as I suddenly saw the way to finish the current epic.
To crown it all, my copy of Romance Matters, the beautifully produced magazine of the Romantic Novelists' Association, arrived on the mat this morning. A very special issue, as it not only had coverage of the RoNA awards, in which four (count them, four) of my friends were winners, but the obituaries for the very wonderful Penny Jordan, who died on December 31st and was a dear and generous friend. What I had forgotten was the editor had interviewed me for this issue some time ago, and turning a page, there I was. In wonderful technicolour across a double page spread.
So in the last six months my public profile has, as another novelist friend, Elizabeth Chadwick, says "reached the tipping point". I've been featured in a double page spread in the Daily Express, in Kent Life magazine and Writers' Forum, appeared on The One Show and The Alan Titchmarsh Show and now - everything that's happened this week. I appeal to my nearest and dearest to make sure I don't get above myself. Which is unlikely, because in Real Life, here in sunny Whitstabubble, nobody is impressed. I do not make a dent in their lives, I'm simply that woman who occasionally appears on stage and the mother of four hugely talented children who are far more visible than I. Of course my friends know what I do for a living, but it doesn't come up much.
So, in conclusion, I'd like to say thank you to everybody who has encouraged and exposed (!) me. And most of all, of course, Hazel Cushion and Accent Press, without whom, as they say... Oh, and as a cheerful post script, I finally found a hairdresser to replace Caroline. That'll impress you all.