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I just signed a book deal!

Checking my phone every five minutes, are there any calls or email notifications? Stalking on Twitter, where are they, what are they doing and why haven’t they called me?

Signing my book deal

That has been my life for the past 5 months. I had written a manuscript for a novel, called Home to Cavendish and submitted it to publishers and agents in the hope of getting a book deal. Now, I was desperately waiting to hear those magical words,‘We want to publish your novel’.

Home to Cavendish is a work of women’s fiction. Weaving between 1922 and 2002, against the backdrop of the stately Cavendish Hall, it tells the story of two women, Elenore Stack and Lady Edith Cavendish.

Before Home to Cavendish, I wrote two other manuscripts. The first, when I was in my mid-twenties; it was terrible. The second, I was in my early thirties. Writing it made me feel better during a difficult time. It was therapy and it was less terrible, but still not right.

Despite this, the lovely Paula Campbell at Poolbeg Press showed interest and what ensued is embarrassing beyond belief. I have the emails to prove it.

January 25th 2010

Dear Paula,

Thanks for the opportunity to submit my full manuscript. I still have a small amount of work to do and will have it over to you in the next month.



April 7th 2010

Dear Paula,

Sorry for the delay, this is taking longer than I thought, I will be back to you asap.


July 15th 2010

Dear Paula,

Sorry again, but I am almost there. I am heading off on holidays in two weeks, I will definitely have the manuscript over to you before I go. Hope you’re enjoying the good weather.

Chat soon,


September 1st 2010

Dear Paula,

Finally, here it is. Sorry for the long delay, hope to hear from you soon.



She should have responded saying,

Dear Antoinette,

Please don’t ever contact us again and thanks for wasting my time.

She didn’t.

Instead, each time, she read the manuscript in question and decided not to publish, but very kindly took the time to give me feedback. This feedback ended with a request to send on any future work to her for consideration.

Eight years later, Home to Cavendish was born. This was different to the previous two manuscripts. It was a labour of love and from the minute I started writing it, it felt real and right. After reading an initial 4 chapters, Paula asked to see the full manuscript in March this year. Learning from my past mistakes, a completed manuscript was delivered to Poolbeg in less than a month

Then the waiting began. At first it was fun, and I was positive, but as time dragged on I began to doubt myself. Was it really any good? Maybe they’d decided not to publish but forgot to tell me? How did someone like me ever hope to get a book deal?

Then, a few weeks ago I opened Gmail and Paula’s name popped up.

Dear Antoinette,

Sorry for the long delay but I hope it was worth the wait…………………..

My hands shaking, I rang my partner and my mother and my sister, and texted pretty much everyone else I know. I had been offered a book deal, for not just one, but three books. I am still shaking as I write this, and may I say, I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. I recently signed the contract and Home to Cavendish will be on book shelves in early Spring 2019.