If someone had told me at the beginning of this year, that by the end of this year I would have had stories published in two anthologies and would have a contract with Ether Books, I would have laughed in their face.
But it has happened. I'm still ridiculously excited every time I look at a front cover of either of the books or the Ether website.
I thought I would get a couple of copies of each of the anthologies. One for my parents, one for my sister and one for us. Wrong.
So far, I have had to buy 34 copies of 50 Stories of Pakistan and 41 copies of Shambelurkling and Other Stories. Insane, I know!
I have had press releases published, made up marketing freebies, got them stocked in two Post Offices, and have a school visit pending. Even with all of these things, the thought of going into a proper book shop scared the life out of me. Somehow it seems a bit like The Big One.
I will admit this now. I went into the shop I had in mind once, a couple of weeks ago. I bottled it, and left with my question unasked. Today I decided to confront my nerves. I printed off a letter and packaged up one of each of the books in the vain hope that the manager wouldn't be there. But she was.
When I introduced myself and showed her the books, there was no hesitation. She didn't even open them to look inside.
"We'll take two copies of each to start with, please send me an invoice." I inhaled deeply and tried to hide my excitement. The fact that she said "I recognise that cover, someone who knows you was in here asking about this one ('50 Stories') made it an even more special trip.
I floated out of that shop.
What a year!
Links to both anthologies and the Ether website are in the right panel of this page.