It all started brilliantly in January, when The French House hit the top ten on Amazon (and overall in 2013 it sold over 200,000 copies!) The prequel, The Case of The Missing Boyfriend, sold another 100,000 copies too, meaning that it too crashed through the 200,000 barrier! The sensation of revenge against every publisher who ever told my that my books weren’t commercial enough to be bothered with was near-on orgasmic.
And as if this wasn’t enough, in the midst of all this excitement, something very special happened on the 27th of January.
It was a miserable, grey January Sunday, and I glanced, through boredom, at an internet dating site I barely even visited anymore, and saw that a stunningly good-looking guy – kind of my identikit ideal man, hairy/baldy/beardy – had looked at my profile. He hadn’t contacted me, and he lived almost 3 hours drive away, so I moved on, looking at who else was online, but I couldn’t get him out of my mind, so I went back to look at his profile. It was sparse but hopeful, so I sent him a pretty sparse first message too. It was, “Hey sexy,” or something inane of that ilk.
His reply was beautiful. Half a page of grammatically perfect, coherent, warm text that was so far from the usual “come and do me now” replies that I had been getting (and ignoring) that I was bowled over.
We chatted online for about half an hour (he had to go out), and we promised to continue that evening, so I spent the whole day watching to see when he would come back online (and fearing that he never would).
It finally happened about eight PM, and within minutes of chatting I knew that I wanted to go to meet him. The dialogue was so different from the usual hook-up spiel, so clever, so funny, it was irresistible. The only problem was that he was that he was living in Marseille. But it was so long since I had spoken to anyone this clever, this witty, this pretty, I couldn’t resist. And yes, I was suffering from a distinct lack of “human contact” 😉
As he had Monday afternoons off, I took a day off work, and threw myself at the adventure.
I got to his place just before he returned home from work, and the minute I saw him, the minute he looked at me with those big brown eyes, and pulled a funny, shy face, I knew I had made the right decision. We sat, timidly, on separate sofas. We chatted for almost two hours. He served me a dreadful bowl of lentil stew (full of lumps of lamb which I picked out – I was too shy to tell him I’m a veggie on that first date). And then I couldn’t help myself any longer, so I launched myself across the room at him.
We have only spent a single weekend apart since then, but when even every weekend still felt like “not enough” big decisions had to be taken.
So last month, on the 18th of November, we rented a removals van and emptied, cleaned, and handed back his flat in Marseille, moving half of his stuff to my tiny mountain pad. The move was shattering, the changes stressful, the throwing away and the merging of our possessions fraught, and the weather (snow), unhelpful to say the least.
But this morning, his cat is sharing the sofa with my two mogs (even they all get on!) and every night when I go to sleep and every morning when I wake up, he’s there beside me, and that makes me so happy, words actually fail when I attempt to describe how that feels. The closest I can get is to say that everything feels normal, feels right. As if everything else before was just some kind of waiting process for real life to begin.
On the 18th of November, the day of the move, something else amazing happened too.
My latest novel, Other Halves, the sequel to The Half-Life of Hannah, published by Black and White Publishing, hit the pre-order charts. Hannah, the prequel, has reached the top ten in the amazon Kindle charts all over again (and has been downloaded now almost 300,000 times) and Other Halves is right now #1 in the Amazon pre-order chart.
You all seem as enthusiastic about it as you have ever been, so thankyou for that!
2012 was a good, good year already. In fact, I guessed it was probably as good as it gets. But, wow… 2013’s gonna take some beating.
Happy Christmas and New Year to you all, and may the new year bring you everything you’re hoping for.