The first thing most people said to me, when I told them I’d been offered a book deal with Mills and Boon, and signed a contract with Lyrical Press for the third book in the Love From Wales series, all in the same week, was, “You’ll have to celebrate!”
I didn’t argue with them.
Of course, when you have a small child and your family live hundreds of miles away, getting out to celebrate isn’t always the easiest thing. Fortunately for me, since we moved house I have met some very kind and lovely women, and the daughter has become great friends with their children. And one of them, Karen, was actually foolish enough to offer to take the daughter for the night.
And so started the daughter’s Very First Sleepover.
First there was the preparation. Not just packing, but checking with Karen exactly what she’d need to bring. Not me checking, you understand. The daughter.
“This is my lamb. I have it at bedtime and it plays music. Can I bring it?” Yes.
“This is Teddy and this is Cuddly. Can I bring them?” Yes.
“This is my panda bear onesie. Shall I bring it?” Yes.
Then there was the issue of activities. Karen had promised they could watch a film on their big screen before bed, which led to a whole raft of questions.
“What film are we going to watch?” (Arthur Christmas, even though it’s nearly Easter.) “I don’t like popcorn, though.” (Ice cream was offered instead.) “Can you paint my nails pink? What will we have for dinner? What about breakfast? Where will we sleep?”
She does like to have a plan, that girl.
To be honest, I’m not sure an awful lot of sleeping was actually done. They started out on the floor, moved to separate beds, the same bed, the floor again… and so on. But from the way the daughter refused to stop talking excitedly for 36 hours after her return, I think we can assume it was fun.
In the meantime, the husband and I, along with Uncle Mike and an assortment of friends, actually got to go out, together, and celebrate. (Since, on the day I got The Call, the husband had decided to go climbing instead of celebrate with me, this was a Very Good Thing.)
And, I got cake! The same very talented friend who made the daughter’s magnificent birthday cake, made me a special bookish cake to celebrate. The nice staff at the wine bar cut it up and served it for us.
(The husband, incidentally, ate the tea pot, and turned his tongue blue.)
So, I have now officially celebrated. Now all I have to do is write the second book…