Dreams can come true

Mon, Mar 29, 2010

Blog, Divorce, Writing

Dreams can come true

I’ve been blowing my own trumpet so much of late that I am in real danger of blistering my perfect pout. But, in the absence of a team of cheerleaders on my benches, I sort of feel justified. Almost. Well, anyway, the news is so exciting that I can’t help yelling it from the rooftops of Dulwich- apologies if you’ve already heard this by phone, email or twitter, apologies also if you’re just generally fed up with the whole subject, but my book has SOLD OUT! Over 6,000 copies gone in two weeks. It’s being reprinted as we speak. My publisher is really pleased. So am I!! And, though I don’t suppose I should admit it, frankly, I’m a bit amazed too.

castle_schokoherz

It’s been a long, long slog getting the book into print. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Ok, for a week or two, I wanted to be a ballerina, but from the age of 11 onwards, I just wanted to write books. I wrote endless stories as a child and daydreamed plots as I grew up. I got a job writing – as a journalist – but was always jotting down ideas, reading enviously of other people’s literary successes, and dreaming of the day when I’d be a published novelist. 

Then I realised I’d actually have to write a book to get published. I limbered up with a couple of attempts at Mills and Boon romances when on maternity leave (the rejections were as firm as the pulsating manhoods I wrote about) and then decided to have a proper go when Child One started primary school in Belgium in 2001. I told all my friends I was going to write a novel, so that I’d have to keep going or lose face forever, and thought it would take a couple of years or so. I’ve pretty much been at it ever since.

It’s now been through many drafts and a couple of agents. I’ve even had quite a lot of working titles, before I lighted on Hot Chocolate, which I do think is a fab name. Of course, the book is now published under the title Schokohertz - symbolic of the way nothing about it  has turned out the way I thought it would. I was, I thought, happily married when I started to write it, and the book had a sad ending. Now it has a happy ending – oopsie, given that away – and I am divorced. Who’d have thought?

I used to write full time in Belgium. Things have inevitably been more scrappy here, as I struggle to cope with my new status as a single mother, worker, blogger and, in the odd moment that remains, novelist. But I never quite lost faith, even when, in a spooky moment, I cut a pack of Tarot cards, asking whether the book would ever be published, and TWICE the ‘struggle’ card came up. And yes, I did shuffle in between. All the hairs stood up all over my body – a very odd feeling – and I gave those Tarot cards away the next day. But they were right. It’s been a struggle. It’s even been two whole years since I signed the publication deal with lovely Ullstein, after my very clever agent sold the book at the Frankfurt book fair, and then the release date was delayed by six months by the recession.

But now the book is here. Thanks to Ullstein’s wonderful efficiency, they delivered some copies to me, which I am now shipping off to my brothers and assorted relatives. Of course, none of us speak German, which is a distinct disadvantage, but though I say it myself (another tootle coming on) it is quite beautiful just as an object. Of course, I’m still dying for an English publisher to snap it up. But I have hope. As I now know for sure, dreams really can come true.

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35 Responses to “Dreams can come true”

  1. MrsW Says:

    Congratulations! How exciting – hopefully some english language publisher is lurking here and devising a cunning plan…..

  2. Victoria Says:

    Congratulations on your first print run success. Enjoy your moment. I hope you keep looking for an English version publisher as I’m sure you’ve got loads of people lining waiting to read it.

  3. Brighton Mum-Teenage Angst Says:

    Congratulations again! It really is such great news..WOW! With MrsW, maybe some English publisher is ‘lurking’??

    • Dulwich Divorcee Says:

      Love the idea of the lurking publisher! Do hope they decide to surface though ….

  4. nuttycow Says:

    Well done to you DD! How exciting!

  5. JulieB Says:

    How exciting, many congratulations! I grew up on Germany and speak fluent German, so will definitely grab myself a copy. Wishing you every success in finding a UK publisher.

  6. Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels Says:

    Congratulstions! That’s fantastic, you must be really proud.

  7. Serenity Says:

    Wow, well done you! You must be so excited and so proud of yourself after all your hard work. Congratulations x

  8. muummmmeeeeee...... Says:

    How incredible to have sold out! Let’s hope you manage to get it published in the UK – I’m always up for reading any book with the word chocolate in the title!

  9. Littlemummy Says:

    I hope so! I’d love to read it.

  10. London City Mum Says:

    Hooray for perseverance and well done you! Fantastic news and I hope things go from strength to strength, especially with more sales and translations into English.

    Hugs
    LCM x

  11. Laura Driver Says:

    Can I be your cheerleader?
    That is just great news … I hope you do get it published in the UK!

  12. carolinesweetie Says:

    Well done, many congrats. When you initially said it was being published I looked only to see that it wasn’t in English. Hopefully you will find a lovely UK publisher so that we can all read your book too. Brilliant,well done!

  13. English Mum Says:

    Do we get to wear little swishy skirts and have pompoms? I’m SO in! I am ridiculously emotionally proud of you, you clever old stick. Mwahhhhh x

    • Dulwich Divorcee Says:

      Thank you hon, yes, you can wave your pompoms all you like (oh dear, having a Linda moment I think!) big hug xx

  14. geekymummy Says:

    I would have thought that seeing as you are rather a popular blogger with English speaking readers that you would be a good gamble for a UK publisher!

    Fingers crossed for you getting pu8blished in the UK too! (and us non German speaking potential readers!)

    And huge congratulations on the success in Germany, thanks for sharing the tale of how you got to here!

    • Dulwich Divorcee Says:

      Oh, thank you so much for your lovely words, Geeky, and I like your thinking, hoping a sensible UK publisher is reading this!!!

  15. Rosie Scribble Says:

    Absolutely fabulous news! I commented earlier, not sure if it accepted it, so I may be commenting twice, but hey, it doesn’t matter, I’m impressed! So I’ll say it again! Congratulations x

    • Dulwich Divorcee Says:

      Hi Rosie hon, no, earlier comment didn’t come out, I think this blog is a bit temperamental, no idea where it gets that from! *stamps tiny foot* thanks for commenting twice, is doubly appreciated xx

  16. Chic Mama Says:

    Fantastic news, congratulations. Fingers crossed a British publisher will see it’s potential here after it selling out! XX

  17. Metropolitan Mum Says:

    Congratulations! Just went off to Amazon to order the book. You’ll have to meet me for coffee and a private book signing soon! ;)

    Very very happy for you, it’s absolutely fabulous! xx Deborah

    • Dulwich Divorcee Says:

      That’s so lovely of you! The skinny lattes are definitely on me, then. Thanks a million xx

  18. Being Me at Sunny Side Up Says:

    Hello there, well I must say I am (still on the other side of having my first book published) extremely envious and inspired by your story! I’ve been writing mine since ‘only’ 2007 and things are really hotting up now (in terms of interest, not in the story ;). It is very belated, I see by the date of your posting this, but as I am new to this site and to you, please accept my very sincere congratulations! It is no easy feat, I applaud you your stamina – and getting divorced in the meantime, no less. Cheers, and thanks for visiting my little ol’ blog!