I've always wanted to say 'I've been on an incredible journey' - in the way that X Factor finalists say it, not people who've just survived a long train ride to work. It sounds much more mystical and enlightening.
Sadly, though, this blog probably won't be - but I thought people might want to know how I ended up here, almost published and tearing my hair out trying to get to grips with a website.
Well...a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a little girl who loved writing stories. My favourite was The Lost Puppy. It was about a puppy. Who was lost. There was a happy ending. Not exactly War and Peace, but it did provoke my English teacher, when I was about six, to tell my proud mother that I'd be a writer when I grew up.
So far, I've ticked the 'being a writer' part off the list. I'm still waiting to grow up, though.
After university, I went into journalism, where I had an absolute ball. There really is no job like it, and I loved every minute of my time in newspapers. When family commitments and a strange yearning to try something new persuaded me to go freelance, I started mixing up my journalism with copywriting, PR, and training other people to write. I enjoyed it, and it pays the bills (almost), but I was still hankering after what I like to call The Lost Puppy Effect. I wanted to write fiction.
I'd like to claim I'd slaved over my masterpiece for years, but in fact I saw an ad for a competition - the Harry Bowling Prize - and entered the first chapter of a story that was rolling like tumbleweed across the empty plains of my mind. I was shortlisted; I went to That There London for the awards do, and amazingly I won it. That book - Fear No Evil - was never published (though I live in hope). But while that was disappointing, it did gain me the tireless services of my agent,Laura Longrigg at MBA, and gave me the encouragement to persist.
Two books and many glowing rejections later, I started working on what would become Dark Vision. I loved Lily, my emotionally damaged have-a-go heroine, and I loved the chance to bring an already vibrant Liverpool to life in my imagination with lashings of magic, vampires, sexy Celtic warriors and ancient Gods. It might already have all of those, I don't know - it's possible I'm not drinking in the right places.
Michael Rowley, Editorial Director of the then-new Random House imprint Del Rey UK, won my eternal gratitude by deciding that he loved Lily too - and the rest is history. Yay for me!
In the meantime, I've been busily writing book two - Dark Touch, out next spring - and plunging myself head first into my other work, three kids, and way too many pets. Life is busy. Life is good...what can I say, it's been an incredible journey!