The perks of the Job
The best thing about being an author, aside from the stupendousness of knowing that my ‘job’ requires me to plug myself into my imagination on a daily basis, stare vacantly into space, check out hot models on the internet and watch Buffy and Gossip Girl for um, research purposes, is obviously, the free books.
A year ago I met my editor and the team at Simon & Schuster for the very first time. I went with my agent to their office in London and the second I walked through the door my legs almost went from under me. Shaking hands, trembling stomach as butterflies started flurrying, it was like love at first sight.
I suddenly knew how Charlie felt when he stepped inside Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The place was literally held up by books, stacked on every surface, piled high, reaching to the ceiling, making the room as glossy and shiny as a L’Oreal hair advert. My mouth went dry.
Then I was ushered into a corner office. More books. And oh, look bottles of pink champagne! What an amazing job, I thought, why had I gone into the charity sector? What on earth had I been thinking? Why hadn’t I gone into publishing? Free books, champagne for breakfast….I almost dropped to my knees and begged them for a job right there and then, doing anything, scrubbing the floors, photocopying, dusting the shelves.
Then I realised that the champagne was for me. It was a mind-blowing moment. I didn’t need a job sweeping their floors. I had somehow managed to write my way into the best job ever. Pink champagne, free books and no scrubbing required.
And then some nice person saw me hungrily eying the bookshelves and invited me to help myself to whatever I wanted. Seriously. For one second I thought it was a trick, and that if I did, I’d swell to the size of a small planet and short men in dungarees would come and roll me out of there.
Then, once I’d realised they weren’t kidding I almost told them to forgo the advance and just pay me in books.
Every few weeks a shoebox sized parcel arrives in my far flung outpost in Indonesia. I rip into it with glee. So far, my highlights of the year (all courtesy of Simon & Schuster)…
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
Milo & the restart button
She’s so dead to us
Rot & Ruin