Writing is not always easy. Sometimes it can be downright cruel, to be honest. But, there are times when it can be quite magical.
Between October and December 2012, I received a dozen rejections from publishers in the UK and Ireland for the novel I had written after self-publishing The Girl Who Came Home. That second novel was called Daughters of the Flowers. Inspired by my love of My Fair Lady and based on true events, it told the story of two sisters – orphaned flower sellers – in Victorian London and a young woman who is transformed by their experiences. I was devastated that the book couldn’t find a home. I cried a lot of tears and started working on a third novel.
In June 2013, Daughters of the Flowers was bought by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, and with a new title, A Memory of Violets, was published in February of this year.
Yesterday, my editor sent on the amazing news that A Memory of Violets made the New York Times ebook bestsellers list at no.20 and the USA Today bestsellers list at no. 45.
The path to publication may not always be easy, or straightforward – mine certainly wasn’t – but if you can stick with it, it has the potential to deliver some wonderful surprises which make all the rejection and uncertainty worthwhile.
A Memory of Violets is such a special book to me, for many many reasons and I’m so proud and happy to see it reaching so many readers’ hands. Thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed and supported this book in its various forms. I’m very very VERY grateful.