Books, Buddha and a Very Special Agent
Just over a year ago I received two special gifts – both given by lovely friends to celebrate the launch of my book ‘Younger, Thinner, Blonder.’ Some of the book is set in Nepal which borders Tibet and one friend kindly gave me a lovely Buddha charm for my bracelet while three others presented me with a beautiful pot Buddha.
I was really, really touched by these gifts, particularly as I was feeling low and had begun to doubt my future as a writer. I’d toiled over ‘Younger, Thinner, Blonder’ for two years and despite my working really hard to publicize it, the book just wasn’t taking off. My publishers were part-time, and concentrating on their other, non-publishing businesses and I was frustrated and very much alone. To cheer me up, my friends said I should ‘rub the Buddha’s belly’ and my luck would change and as I’m not superstitious (or Buddhist) I laughed at their suggestion. But later, when no-one was around, I rubbed the belly of the Buddha now sitting in his new home in the fireplace.
Unfortunately my husband walked in on this scenario, and finding me prostrate in the hearth clutching at the Buddha accused me of being superstitious… which of course I’m not.
‘You’re rubbing it’s belly for luck aren’t you?’ he laughed.
‘Don’t be daft,’ I snapped back from under the fireplace, ‘I’m dusting.’ It was midnight.
But within days my life began to change for the better – my old publishers finally agreed to release me and then by chance I came across a brilliant new publisher – Bookouture. I emailed them, expecting to wait several months but two days later they came back to me having read my first book ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,’ and offered me a 3 book deal. I went on to write two books for them this year – ‘Love, Lies and Lemon Cake’ and ‘Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake’ – both reached the top 100 on Amazon, something 12 months ago I could only dream of.
I hate to admit this, because I’m not superstitious, but am becoming convinced that my good luck might have something to do with my Buddhas. My husband says my little taste of writing success is down to a great publisher, hard work and my refusal to never give up.
‘It’s really not the result of rubbing a pot in the fireplace,’ he insists.
I’m sure he’s right and as you will have realised by now I’m so not superstitious – but recently another long-held dream came true and the first thing that flashed into my head unbidden was ‘Buddha’s belly.’ So just when I thought it couldn’t get any better – last week I got myself a literary agent – and not any agent – I signed with the wonderful Hannah Ferguson at Hardman & Swainson. Hannah is my dream agent, and represents some of the most talented and successful womens’ fiction writers around today. I am so excited and delighted to be working with her and have to keep pinching myself that Hannah is my agent – it really is the icing on my Christmas Cake and the perfect end to an amazing year.
I’m really not superstitious, but can’t help but wonder if it was just a coincidence that my luck changed so dramatically when the Buddhas came into my life. And as 2014 sinks into the past and we welcome a new year and all the wonderful possibilities it may bring, I will lie down by the fireplace to rub Buddha’s belly, just in case. And if my husband asks why I’m lying in the hearth at midnight – I’m dusting, because god forbid – it’s not like I’m superstitious or anything.