Sunday, 1 July 2007

It's all happening!


Husband emailed me from work on Friday to report an official sighting of The Italian's Defiant Mistress on the shelf at WH Smiths!

I am stupidly excited. I remember when I got the call last September (which always sounds vaguely like some sort of spiritual epiphany) it seemed an unimaginably long time until I would have a book actually on sale, but here I am, and there are Eve and Raphael, locked in their passionate, windswept embrace in our very own WH Smiths! I'd really like to get a picture of them there, but am not sure how to go about this... Do I lurk in the Romance section until all is quiet and go for the surreptitious 'slink and snap' technique? (and risk appearing shifty and slightly mad), or do I jump up and down going 'That's my book! That's my book!', thrust my camera into the hands of some hapless bystander and demand they photograph us both (thus coming across as completely bonkers, but in a reassuringly upfront way?) Vote now!

AND... as if I wasn't quite overexcited enough about this, I also discovered yesterday that I've had my very first review! Kym, over at Romance Reader at Heart has given the book 4 roses, which I'm pretty thrilled about, and said some nice things too, like

'India Grey pens a delightful, fun novel with THE ITALIAN'S DEFIANT MISTRESS. For her first published work, Grey does an outstanding job!... The characters are sympathetic and easy to relate to. The plot is fun and fast. I look forward to reading Grey's next novel.
Bottom line: grab a cool drink of iced tea, curl up and enjoy!'

After reading this I instantly wanted to catch the next transatlantic flight and go and give Kym a big hug for taking the time to read and review my book, and also for picking up on the slight edge of humour I tried to put in there. It's not something that's immediately associated with the Presents line, and given the relentless darkness of my current wip, I don't think it's going to be a hallmark of all my books, but in that one it just happened. Anyway, on reflection I decided that being accosted by an over-emotional stranger would be scary and traumatic for nice Kym, so settled instead for a more conventional and low-key form of celebration involving a bottle of wine and a Chinese take away. I guess it's to my husband's credit that during this he was pretty tolerant about being reminded 47 times that I am the author of a novel that is both delightful and fun.


Michelle Styles said...

Don't Slink. Go out and snap a photo. You deserve it!!!!

Hooray for you.

It is wonderful about the good review. Make sure you print it off and keep it in a scrapbook so when the crows of doubt hit, you can take a look.


Margaret McDonagh said...


It is NOT silly. It IS mega exciting. Enjoy it. There is nothing quite like that first book hitting the shelves. You deserve it. Shout it from the rooftops.

Enjoy every moment.

Mags xx

Kate Walker said...

I'd go for the excited /gibbering idiot approach if I were you - that or the open and blatant one. Yhe more you skulk, the wierder they thnk you are. And as Michelle says be open and proud - you deserve it.

On the other hand I could always rent out my offspring who does a great job of PR - standing beside the M&B displays and calling across to me 'Mum there's a book oput by that author that you said was really great - you know KATE WALKER . . . .'
I'm sure I could train him to said INDIA GREY once in a while too!

Congratulations on actually having a real book to see on the sheles and enjoy - now you'll hit the obsessivel checking and counting the number of books left on the shelves stage ;-)

And have you checked your Amazon ranking yet?


Kate Hardy said...

Go and take a photo! (I certainly will later this week.)

And what Michelle said about the review.

Am v proud of you. Excellent review. :o)

Nell said...

Congratulations! Go take a photo and tell the staff. I've always found them to be even more excited than me and they tell other customers.

Eva said...

Cool! Utterly cool, India!

Knowing the W. H. Smith staff so very well, I say go in there and tell them who you are and have THEM snap the photo - you with book in hand! It will be the highlight of their day!!!

Fantastic news about the book review. Can't wait to read the whole thing for myself.


Amanda Ashby said...

Hooray - I'm sooo excited that it's finally out there in the world and the review is totally justified!!!!!

But remember if you approach shop assistants you must actually take feather boa off and wipe drool away from chin due to staring at youtube heroes all morning (rule number five in Amanda Ashby's helpful hints to writers!!!!!)

India said...

Thanks for the advice everyone!!
(and the reassurance that I'm not losing it completely, Margaret! I wonder if the medical profession have actually formally defined New Author Syndrome and listed amongst its symptoms a tendency to over-excitement at seemingly insignificant events!!)

I guess tomorrow will see me sneaking away from my current ract-to-the-finish wip, and heading into town. As Eva says, our branch of WH Smiths is pretty tiny, so the staff will probably work out that I'm The Other Mills&Boon Writer (ie The one who isn't Penny!) and might not phone the police if I'm caught taking photographs in their shop. But I'm going to try hard to pluck up the courage to take Nell's advice and ask them to take one for me... (scary!)

I love the idea of a scrapbook for good reviews, Michelle. Maybe I'll buy one while I'm in there (I wonder if I'll ever get enough to make it worth the investment!!) There are certainly a couple of books on my shopping list...

Your offspring is a total gem, Kate. I'm going to train mine to do that very thing (though it may take some time if their lack of comprehension of the term 'hang your coat ON THE HOOK' is anything to go by!)

India said...

Oooh, scary simul-post Amanda!

I know, I've become horribly uncivilised since I've been a reclusive writer (hence my uncertainty as to whether the lovely ladies in our mini-Smiths will in fact recognise me. I think maybe the last time I was in there on a regular basis it was to buy Just Seventeen and ink cartridges when I was in the third year...)

However, am disappointed that the boa has to go. I figured that was the best way to single myself out as A Romance Writer.

Michelle Styles said...

You will get enough good reviews and letters to justify a scrap book, India. I have a heart shaped box that I keep mine in. I am going to have to get a proper scrapbook soon.
But do keep them, they are IMPORTANT!

Anonymous said...

Am setting down the wine to jump for joy. Now popping open champagne and toasting you. Way to go, Darling!

Take pictures, loads and loads. Then go to another bookstore and find a clerk, then ask loudly for The India Grey Book, which everyone is searching for.

Then train husband in the ways of Kate Walker's offspring.

Big hugs from this side of the pond. Congratulations, all over again!