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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah


Killary ford

Today feels quite shiny and special. I don’t know that I’ve ever told this story on the blog, so here goes.

In January 2006 I went back to Ireland and rented a car (a series of them, actually, ha) to research the first edition of Moon Ireland.  This was my second paid writing gig (after co-writing Hanging Out in Ireland the summer after my freshman year of college), but this time I was working on my own guidebook for proper money. My primary ambition had always been to publish a novel, but after my experience with the practice novel I was feeling more anxious than excited when Kate Garrick submitted Mary Modern to a bunch of editors that February.

This time, though, there were several nibbles. More than one editor wanted to make an offer, Kate said. I felt even more nervous. She set the closing date for Friday, March 14th at 3pm.

At the end of that week I was staying at a hostel in Leenane (in Connemara), and had fallen in with Kevin, a fellow writer from Dublin, and Tom, an American in his sixties who was working as a handyman at the hostel. The guys promised to help me celebrate in the event of good news (HA, of course you will!)

I gave Kate the hostel phone number, emailed my family and asked them to think good thoughts, and refreshed my inbox repeatedly on the hostel computer until I remembered that I’d only be receiving bad news that way. Good news always comes by phone. [I have since learned that certain kinds of bad news come by phone, too, but we won’t dwell on that.]

I very vividly remember sitting on a dormitory floor early that evening, voicing my anxiety to Kevin, who was sympathetic. It’s one o’clock in New York, I said. This isn’t gonna happen. It’s not going to sell and I don’t know what I’m going to do.

After a little while we heard the phone ring downstairs. “It’s Random House calling!” Kevin declared (and if he was mocking me he did so affectionately.)

Then we heard footsteps on the stairs. “No, really. I think it’s for you!”

I crouched on the floor, my heart in my throat. The guy working the front desk called my name. HOLY S**T IT HAS TO BE KATE IT’S GOOD NEWS.

I ran to the door and grabbed the cordless, and when Kate told me we’d gotten an offer from Sally at Shaye Areheart/Crown I blubbered every single expletive in my vocabulary.

We drove into town. I bought all the Guinness Kevin asked for. We had a good night.


2 Comments to Bookiversary!

  1. March 15, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Looking forward to hearing the rest of the night and follow morning’s story! You left it sort of open ended!

  2. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    March 18, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I remember when you told me in New Zealand like it was yesterday. I was walking on cloud 9 all day 😃

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.