60 Postcards: The Next Chapter

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To follow the story from the beginning, click here.

Welcome back, welcome for the first time and welcome all to blog post numero 43 – my favourite yet.

imageMy accommodation is all confirmed for my ten-day Paris visit. Airbnb strikes again – I will be spending my first week in a studio flat, a mere 15 minute stroll from the Arc de Triomphe. My last three nights (as mentioned in the previous post) I will spend in a flat down the very same private cobbled street as the original ’60 Postcards’ apartment – parfait!

My bags are packed and I am ready to go! Alright, OK – they aren’t packed at all. But I have thought about it. Oh and I have bought a brand spanking new coat for the occasion. Winter coats are one of my absolute favourite things about this season – what better place to fashion it for the first time.

For the past 6 months, since starting this blog (March 10th, 2013), I have found myself walking down the street whilst writing things in my head. This week I have been walking down the street trying to translate thoughts in my head to French. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – my scrambled GCSE attempts will simply not cut it. Still, I am a determined one and I am currently teaching myself phrases that will help me to explain ’60 Postcards’ whilst out there. People may laugh, they may think that I am loopy (ahem) but I hope they will appreciate me giving it a ‘good go’. Or at least, a ‘go’.

And now it is confession time. Time to reveal to you my secret. It has something to do with these lovely ladies below……

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Meet Jo H (on the left) – my Literary Agent from Bell Lomax Moreton.

Meet Briony (in the middle) – my Editor from Publisher, Simon & Schuster (S&S).

Meet Jo W (on the right) – my other Editor from Publisher, Simon & Schuster (S&S).

I know – I KNOW!

It is with sheer disbelief but utter delight that I can finally announce…..

60 Postcards will be a BOOK!!

Even from the early stages of the blog, I laughed off any comments of this being anything more than just a blog. For me it was a dream too far from my grasp. But it is happening – it really is happening. Even so, it still doesn’t feel quite real?!

What will the book be about? 

Now, as you know, there have been endless happenings since I started my ’60 Postcards’ project and it would be far from sensible to try to cram everything into one book. This book will simply cover the journey of 60 Postcards in Paris, parallel with the journey of losing mum and leading up to where I am now. In exactly the same way that I promised you in my very first blog post – this will not be a morbid read. Not at all. It will mirror the message of my blog – it will be honest about the bad times but filled with comedy moments, tales of friendship, meeting new people and happy memories of Mum.

My aim is for the reader to feel uplifted and inspired by the end. That is exactly what Mum and I would want.

When will the book be released? 

Now, I’m not sure how much you know about publishing, but if you are anything like me – very little, ha! I assumed that you would sign a book deal and be given about a year to write it. It turns out that in my case, it is not quite so. My First Draft deadline is 29th November – of this year. (No one panic. Don’t worry. No – I am NOT sweating? It’s just the fringe – it doesn’t cope well with heat).

The reason for the quick turnaround actually makes perfect sense. The book will be released in March 2014 and what date falls in March? Mother’s Day. From blog to book in precisely one year – wowsa! Many people have asked me how I feel about the tight deadline? I genuinely believe that it is the best thing for it. Not only is it the perfect gift for Mum, with the release around Mother’s Day, but it also keeps the momentum going and allows me to get the emotional side of things written quickly. I don’t want to have to re-live certain moments for too long. It was only last year that I lost her. I can understand why it is easy for people to forget that.

What is happening with the blog and what direction will it go in now?

The blog will continue. Of course it will continue! It is likely to be one post a week – there may be more if I feel I have a spare moment or I need to get something off my chest. I thought that it would be fun for this to be a behind-the-scenes look at the process of writing a book. I have been completely fascinated with it all and I would love to share this with you as I go along. The writing, the deadlines, the meetings, the process of marketing, sales and publicity – I will discuss it all!

Now, as this is non-fiction, it is quite normal for a book to be incomplete as the pitching and selling begins. An example of this is the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is the largest trade fair in the world for publishers to sell international rights. Here is my first press mention that has been released today:

Pre-Franfurt activity the ‘busiest for many years’ – Bookseller Magazine

Bonkers, isn’t it?!

Now, if you will excuse me – I must get on with writing the book! This is by far the biggest and most exciting challenge of my life and I am 100% up for it.

I want to make my blog readers, my friends, Jo (agent), Briony & Jo and the S&S team proud.

But most of all, I want to make my family and my Mother proud.

Mum – this is the next stage of your legacy.

Love to all and I will speak to you from Paris,

Rachael xxxx

CLICK HERE to head to my Author page (currently being updated) where if you subscribe, you can receive info about the book nearer to the release date!

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13 thoughts on “60 Postcards: The Next Chapter

  1. Totally delighted re the BOOK…I knew that would happen..,amazing news, well done you! mum would be SO proud! Xx

  2. Hi Rachael, I have been reading your blog since it was mentioned in the emerald street email. I have absolutely loved every single one of your posts, and love following you on your journey. Tonight reading your post, I am so happy for you re: these new book developments, I have honestly never been so excited and wide grin smiling for a perfect stranger before, I actually have to remind myself that I actually don’t know you from a bar of soap 🙂 all the very best of luck on this new adventure, I look forward to hearing all about it in your blog

  3. Yes!!! As an avid follower of the blog I am so happy you have decided to go down the book route, and I hope it is a great success 🙂 I suspect that the book will take over your life completely over the next 6 months and afterwards too, but it is going to be a very rewarding experience in tandem with the blog. I went down the self publishing route with my bowel cancer book which I am still not sure was the right thing to do 🙂 Bon voyage 🙂

  4. félicitations belle fille. Je suis tellement excitée pour vous. votre voyage a été déchirante merveilleux à suivre. tu me manque x

    Vix x

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  5. Lindsay I love your comments particularly the bit about a bar of soap – brought a smile to my face, unlike Lindsay I’ve know Rachael all her life and I am immensely proud of her and she’s a real chip off the old block! I love what Rachael is doing and know that everyone who knows her is equally proud – sincerely well done Rachael cheers for a new chapter in your life xxx

  6. Well done Rachel!!! Just shows you that from horrendous awful life changing things new hope can spring. Well done, you are inspirational, and will be making your mum proud!!! Xx

  7. Morning Rachel (its very early here in Glasgow !),
    I have been with you since about April, I find many parallels with you and can empathise, you are doing a good job here – I too lost my mum some six years ago, but when I was student I had spent a quite special time with her in Paris, I am a teacher, and as I am a big time traveller I always sent POSTCARDS back to her (I have kept them as they are quite hilarious)!, one of my favourite words is serendipity (though one of my pupils told me to go there this Summer , I never managed it….well you can’t pack everything in to a trip to New York..defo next time ( I try to get to Paris(Chrimbo) & London (Dec )every year, and NYC every other….. I would love to find one of your postcards.
    From the outset I have not only just thought all this becoming a book……. but also a FILM ( a la Julie & Julia) – there you go, that’s my prediction .Amanda x

  8. So excited for you Chadders, and looking gorge in the pic! If you want any stock French phrases to help you out in Paree then let me know xx

  9. I only found you today Rachael but am now determined to start at the beginning of your blog and follow your journey. My daughter was lucky enough to be taught by your mum and I enjoyed her company (and sense of humour!) on a couple of school trips. She would be incredibly proud of you…. I am and we’ve never met! Congratulations what a fabulous achievement.

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