It’s Official!

Yesterday, I had a wonderful task to take care of. It was the most wonderful task an aspiring author can be given, in fact, and it was this: I was finally able to break the news that I’ve been successful in gaining a two-book deal with Knopf USA for my dΓ©but novel The Eye of the North. Yahoo!

The book is slated for release in fall of 2016, all going well, and I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that the publisher is one of the most prestigious in the world. I’m also really proud that it’s this particular story which will be my launching pad into the great big world of publishing, because I love it with all my heart and it’s the book I know I was meant to write. I’m so looking forward to getting to work on shaping the text with my new editor, Melanie Cecka Nolan, and I hope that between the two of us we’ll turn this story into the best version of itself that it can possibly be. I’m very fortunate, and I know it!

This is a post I’ve dreamed about writing, and for a very long time I was convinced it would never be a reality. (To be honest, even as I’m here writing it I’m not convinced it’s a reality, but I’m assured otherwise by folk who know their stuff, so I have to believe it’s true). The process of bringing a book from idea-seed to finished draft to polished draft and finally to a publication deal has been a long and arduous one (and one which I’ve exhaustively chronicled here, so don’t worry – I’m not going to rehash it!) but one thing I know for sure: without the support and encouragement of my family and friends (including, and sometimes especially, my web-based friends, many of whom I’ve never met in person), I wouldn’t be here. I want to thank you all most sincerely for your kind words, your advice, and your interaction; for celebrating my achievements with me and for commiserating on my losses; for your interest in my words and work; for your relentless enthusiasm and your certainty that one day, I would know how it felt to say ‘I am going to be a published author.’ During the moments when I didn’t believe it myself, you guys believed for me, and that got me through.

I can’t thank you all enough.

Photo Credit: @ifatma. via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: @ifatma. via Compfight cc

Writing and querying The Eye of the North has been the hardest work I’ve ever done, and I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead – but I’m ready and able for that. Bringing the book this far has been a complicated, emotional, frustrating, stressful, exhilarating and fascinating journey, and very little of it has felt how I expected it to feel; the learning curve has been immense, and sometimes I’ve found it hard to hang on and keep going. Having said that, I have no regrets. However, I do know how much I owe to everyone who has helped me, primarily my wonderful husband and our amazingly supportive family, who have always been so proud of me and so committed to making this happen. It has never ceased to amaze me how many people showed me unstinting support, right from the beginning of this crazy journey, and I can honestly say that not one person (at least, in my hearing!) ever expressed doubt that I could achieve this goal. I know how lucky I am to be able to say that, and I won’t ever forget it. I also know how much I owe my agent, Polly Nolan, and particularly how much I owe Sarah Davies, the powerhouse behind the Greenhouse Literary Agency, who have fought hard for me and my book from day one.

I hope I’ve made everyone proud, and that you’re all glad that your confidence wasn’t misplaced. I hope that when the finished book is in your hands, you’ll be glad to have been a part of it. More than anything, I hope that anyone who picks up The Eye of the North will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and that the love I have for every word will shine out from the pages. After all, that’s the only thing that really matters – getting the story out, and making sure it’s as good as I can get it. After that, it’s all up to the reader.

For the moment, the book will be published only in North America – so, the US and Canada – but I’m hopeful we’ll strike a book deal for the UK and Commonwealth markets, too. As soon as I have any news, about anything, you’d better believe I’ll share it here as soon as I’m given the green light, and I hope you’ll enjoy travelling with me from book deal to publication as much as you seem to have enjoyed the journey from the very beginning to here! Thank you all, again, and I hope all your Fridays are fabulous.

Have a slightly weird, awkward hug from Emmeline, and a grubby, sticky one (that smells a bit funny) from Thing, and a giant bear-hug from me. Just because. We love y’all. See you back here very soon.


32 thoughts on “It’s Official!

      1. SJ O'Hart Post author

        Yes – well, the first one, at least. The second’s a little more undefined, at this point. It’s all good, I’m sure! A little stress adds a bit of flavour to life, right? πŸ™‚

      1. mariemck1

        Thanks. I can’t tell you how much that means! Really enjoy what you’ve accomplished and all the things I have no doubt you are about to accomplish. You deserve them.

      2. SJ O'Hart Post author

        You’re so kind. Thank you. I hope you’re writing as much as possible yourself, and I wish you all the luck in the world. πŸ™‚

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      Er… sorry. Who are you again?

      Kidding, kidding! Yes. The whole ‘rich and famous’ thing. Because that’s an inevitable consequence of getting a book deal, right? I mean, you’re reading this from the top deck of your luxury gold-plated yacht in Marbella, aren’t you? πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the congratulations, and the good wishes, and for all your support and help. I really appreciate it all. x

  1. elainepeters5

    Well done, wonderful news! Many congratulations and I look forward to reading it, although it seems a long way off. (PS I’ve downloaded the flash anthology and your friend’s Happy Ever Afterlife, but haven’t read that yet.) E x

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      Awesome! I’m glad you liked the sound of Happy Ever Afterlife enough to download it; I must tell Kate she owes me a sale. πŸ˜€ Thank you for your congratulations, too. It is a long time away still, but I’m sure when the deadline is looming it will all seem very quick to me! Thanks for the support and the good wishes, both now and in the lead-up to today, and I hope all is well with you and yours. x

  2. Jan Hawke

    Well done you! πŸ˜€ So glad you’ve made it even if there’s still some hoops to jump through – but then it’s good to be a hoopy writer! πŸ˜‰

  3. emmaleene

    I am so delighted for you. That is fantastic news and so well deserved! You were born to write. Love the title. Can’t wait to meet your characters and get to know them properly on published pages. You deserve to be really proud right now; I know I am for you!! Route 66 doesn’t look so bad now! Go you for chasing down your dream and deciding that is yours for the taking. You are an inspiration, well done. Have the best weekend ever! xx

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      Thanks, Emmaleene – I really appreciate your support, now and over the past few years. I hope one day soon you’ll be writing a similar blog post. Thanks so much! xx

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      Thanks, Kieran – not only for your support and this message, but for making me a Scribbler and for being so enthusiastic about Irish kidlit in general. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  4. Tara Sparling

    Fantastic news, Sinead, delighted for you I am! When you think of this time last year when Novel Fair results were out, what a journey in so short a year! Well done.

  5. Maurice A. Barry

    “Proud” is not exactly the word as it suggests that I would have recently discovered that you measure up. I’ve know that all the while! What I was concerned about was that the chaotic (some would call it luck) aspects of our lives may be such that your work would not be recognized by publishers in a timely fashion. It has. The word I would use, therefore, is “delighted.” I’m passing on this info to Josephine and Lesley later on today and know they, too, will share my delight.

  6. Pratibha

    How dd I miss this post. Well, better late than never. Hearty congratulations, Sinead. Yes, dreams do come true if you work for them. πŸ™‚


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