It was a typical wet dreary Irish day. I was flailing about my office trying to peal off sodden running gear (not as easy a task as one might expect). Archer, my trusty – also wet – GSD, was staring at his empty food bowl as though it had personally let him down by being not full of delicious food. Nearby, a very old cat (RIP Binkley, much missed) was snoozing in his tartan sheepskin bed, for he, and he alone, had scanned the skies earlier that morning and decided the outdoors was not for him.
Cats are very wise that way.
I fed the dog, showered, dressed in various layers of fleece and plonked myself down at my desk, ready to commence battle with a YA manuscript I had been struggling with. Then I noticed an email from my agent.
‘Hello,’ I said aloud, for that’s how I roll. ‘What does she want?’
Since neither office animal answered me I thought it prudent to read the email and find out. Click. I love my agent, but she is succinct to the point of brevity.
‘Pub house UK, The Chosen. Interested?’
Naturally I called her to fill in the gaps and learned that a publishing house in the UK called Bookouture had expressed interest in giving me a two-book deal and republishing my 2011 novel The Chosen, would I be interested. Would I? By howdy I sure would, for what author in their right mind wouldn’t like a second bite of the pie. Mmmmm… pie.
Lo and behold within mere weeks contracts were signed and Last to Die came to fruition. There was a new cover (which I love) new title, and –get this– new fans. It was released Friday, 24th of June, and by Monday it had broken into the top 100 kindle sales on Amazon. It has stayed pretty much up there since.
I’d love to take some credit here, but I can’t. I mean I can, I suppose, I did write the book. There is that. But the real credit goes to the amazing team at Bookouture, and in particular to their one woman whirlwind, Kim Nash, who is an absolute joy to work with.
It incredibly heartening to see the novel reach new readers, people who are kind enough to write a good review or send me a message saying how much they enjoyed it. This whole process has given me a renewed lease of happiness, which is something we authors often let run down a little while we work long hours in solitude, constantly second guessing ourselves and our work.
I am genuinely humbled and thrilled by the response.
I will have a new novel with Bookouture out before the year’s end and the YA manuscript will be in the agent’s office before the end of July. Further, I have a new series in the pipeline that I’m VERY excited about. My grandmother used to always say, ’tis either feast or famine with you’ and it seems she was correct. Right now I’m feasting on writing and enjoying it to the max: no doubt there will be famine to follow. But until then, please, come join me at the table.
My gratitude as always to Elizabeth for her generosity and our shared love of books – and cats 🙂
— Arlene Hunt