I’m heading back from one of the best four days of my life. I’ve been staying in New York since Sunday and in that short time I’ve been privileged to finally meet my legendary US editor Linda Marrow and the team at Ballantine Books (Penguin Random House).
When I had just turned 25 and newly arrived in London, my office was in Victoria in the south west of the city. At lunch times, I would walk around Pimlico and Vauxhall, and inevitably find my way by the Random House building on Vauxhall Bridge Road. I would gaze for a moment and then walk on, because standing on the street staring at buildings is weird and besides, I had to get back to do my job. Not my fantasy job of writing books.
While I gazed, I used to dream for a split second. I wouldn’t let the dream really take hold, it was just the slightest itch of a hope.
When I was offered a publishing contract for the United States with Ballantine Books, an incredible imprint of Penguin Random House after agreeing a deal with brilliant UK publishers Atlantic, I finally allowed that dream to take shape.
On Monday, I walked into the New York offices on Broadway, unable to control my smile. I smiled the whole way round the office, all through lunch and into every meeting. I must have looked quite mad. But I don’t care.
I loved the city, both energy-zapping and energizing. It’s like the best kind of friend. Drags you out when you’re feeling tired, forces you to have fun and then takes you for coffee the next day. And I could say the same for my friend Ilana, who literally did the same thing. She is the New York of my friends, and I was so lucky to be able to spend time with her out there.
And now I’m waiting for the plane home to see my heroic husband and the four kids he’s been single-handedly looking after. And I still can’t stop smiling.
Thank you for having me, NY.