I don’t believe in magic lists – those self-help, what-do-you-want-out-of-life scraps of paper where you write down what you want to achieve and then forget all about them.
Despite that, when my partner, Tim, moved in with me we spent days merging and sorting his books with mine and I came across a piece of card on which (six years previously) I had written my own magic list. Once I had read it, I put the card inside another book, which is now lost amongst the thousands in our house. I can only remember two of the things on that list – one was to find someone to love who would love me back, and the other was to write a book (I hadn’t written anything when I put that ambition down in black and white).
Zoom forward to 2013, and here’s a summary of what happened in date order:
- March 2013 – I finished writing my first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days
- April 2013 – I sent it out to agents, met Jane Finigan from Lutyens & Rubinstein, and signed with them
- July 2013 – Jane sent it out and it went to auction with three publishers
- 13th July 2013 – I married Tim and the sun shone
- 15th July 2013 I accepted the offer from Fig Tree / Penguin
- July – October 2013 the book sold in a further eight countries
- December 2013 I received my MA in Creative Writing from the University of Winchester – a distinction.
I still don’t believe in magic lists, but don’t get cross if I write another one.