Marking the Moment


The announcement of my YA book deal with Firefly Press came pinging onto my phone as I attempted to navigate the school summer fair. Picture me with four kids, three plant pots and a bag of assorted purchases, trying to make sense of the tweets that were streaming onto my phone.

(Small pause while I let fly a whoop and a yeeeehaw!)

Dozens have congratulated me, expressing delight, surprise and excitement, with the following few days being everything I dreamed it would be. The writing community are a wonderfully generous bunch.

What surprised me however was the number of people that wanted to check I was celebrating. Of course I was celebrating – here I was, over-using emoji & capital letters – I was the very epitome of a person celebrating. But it got me wondering – what had I done to mark the moment?

‘ Imagination can take you anywhere ’ by Sam Toft

Imagination can take you anywhere’ by Sam Toft

I hadn’t dared celebrate when the offer came through. Although not superstitious, I couldn’t allow myself to believe it, let alone celebrate.  Once the contract was signed, still no formal celebration, though lots of quiet texts to close friends. But surely, once announced, I would be doing something.

Fortunately my other half isn’t so constrained by my fears. The week the offer came he bought me this; a picture I had admired months earlier. It is now hung in our kitchen reminding all who come into our home that dreams are possible.

But perhaps celebrating isn’t an act or a thing, perhaps it’s a state of mind; to stop, recognise, acknowledge and savour the moment. People talk about bottling a feeling. Maybe the trick is to fully feel and enjoy the emotion at the time.

As a writer I’m very good at feeling the full pain of rejection. Perhaps when these good times come along, I need to work at actively searching out the full height of the joy. After all, it was only recently that this felt an impossibility that only happened to others, so I feel pleased that even when I was tempted to stop, I didn’t. I kept going, kept working, kept putting one word after another.

So in that spirit I intend to relish this feeling; for the next few days, a week, a month, for however long I can. It has taken an incredible amount of work to get to this point (if you’ve been following my writing blog, you will know!) and now I’m here, I plan to enjoy every single second of it.

Oh, and I treated myself to an eye-wateringly expensive Orla Kiely notepad.


The deal details…

Firefly Press have acquired my diverse, ‘Up Lit’ summer YA – Summer of No Regrets.  For those not in the publishing world, Up Lit is feel-good fiction and YA stands for Young Adult, so for teenagers.  It will be published in May 2019.

Firefly editor Rebecca Lloyd says: ‘Summer of No Regrets is a perfect, heart-warming read for teenage girls, with a mix of humour, sensitivity and real-life issues.  Its socially and ethnically diverse group of girls have wonderfully authentic and supportive relationships – it is a life-enhancing celebration of friendship.’

I am savouring this moment. It is my daydream come true.


Image courtesy of Freepik/freepic.diller

Kate Mallinder