It was good being away from the internet for a while. Not only did I enjoy the extra time exploring Crete and spending time with Genie, but I also had some pleasant surprises when I got back. Instead of watching obsessively for things to happen, I stepped back as things I’d put in motion before I left England continued by themselves.
First, a short story I’d sent off months ago in the February snows was accepted for publication in Volume II of Spark: A Creative Anthology. The story’s based on the King’s Cross Fire, a terrible fire in a London Underground station in 1987, and explores questions of guilt by telling the story of a man who thinks his cigarette was the one that started the fire.
Also, word came through that WH Smith had ordered 1,500 copies of A Virtual Love and promoted it in their stores across the country. My family sent excited emails about seeing the book in various towns, and fellow Legend Press author James Higgerson kindly sent through this pic of the book on the Fiction charts on the shelves in Manchester (one spot ahead of The Reluctant Fundamentalist – just saying…).
Separately, the Kindle version of the book was listed in Amazon’s list of “100 featured books for £2.99 or less” for the month of May, which seemed to improve sales and give me some new readers, even though the idea of my four years work selling for less than a bottle of water was a little painful.
I was also interviewed by women’s magazine Female First, and shortlisted for the Bath Short Story Award, and A Virtual Love got a great review from Stefanie at So Many Books. And just this weekend, JoV reviewed the book and published an interview with me.
And all of this happened while I was driving around looking at apartments and eating in tavernas! Back to work now to plant some more seeds…