Summers are quiet in the world of publishing. But even after the ten years I'd had to get used to this, it's still disconcerting when an author is dying to hear how a manuscript has been received. Particularly one that felt as risky as that which I'd submitted to my agent earlier in the year.
As July and August 2016 passed in a blur of lacklustre sunshine and school holidays, my nights started to become distinctly restless as the phone failed to ring. If I'm honest, I was almost getting used to this low-level anxiety and was stocking up on Value baked beans in preparation for impending poverty (I'm an optimist like that).
Then, one warm afternoon, I was just home from a run, when I took a call Anne Bihan, who was looking after translation rights for my agents Curtis Brown. She had a deal from Germany... but not just any old deal.
This deal had been secured within literally hours of the novel being submitted to Rowohlt; their editor had stayed up to read the book overnight and made a pre-emptive offer first thing the next morning. And although I'm not vulgar enough to disclose details, I will say this: we did not dine on baked beans that night.
A thrilling couple of months followed, in which auctions took place all over the world. 'You, Me, Everything' was sold to publishers in the USA, Norway, Sweden, Israel, Poland, Iceland, China, France, Brazil, Spain, Bulgaria, Russia, Korea, Italy, Serbia, Romania, Lithuania and Portugal.
I was breathless by the end of it all, genuinely struggling with the idea that, after more than a decade of writing, this kind of thing was actually happening to me. And it got better. A few weeks later, my superwoman of an agent Sheila Crowley phoned to deliver the kind of news I'd never allowed myself to dream about (unless I'd had a couple of glasses of wine): 'You, Me, Everything' had been optioned for a Hollywood movie.
John Fischer, Vice President of Temple Hill Entertainment - part of Lionsgate - had bought it for the studio that produced 'The Fault in Our Stars' and 'Twilight'. It was truly a 'pinch me' moment. But then, there have been too many of those to count lately...