We writers hear so much gloomy news these days - about how difficult it is to find a publisher or even an agent, how hard it is to find a market for short stories, and how heavily the odds are stacked against us when we try to get anything accepted - whether we're new or established writers.
So it's doubly exciting to hear some really good news, especially when it concerns someone who I know has worked hard to achieve it and undoubtedly deserves it. Anne Cameron is the daughter of one of my best writing buddies, Dawn. I met Dawn back in the early 1990s when we both won prizes in the Writers' News story competitions and attended the awards ceremony in London. Ever since, we've been 'pen pals' - originally by old-fashioned letter and now of course by e-mail - encouraging each other in our writing and sharing all the inevitable ups and downs, and we finally managed to meet up again last year.
Dawn has often told me about her daughter Anne, who's also a writer, having produced short stories and teenage romances in the past but who has worked for a considerably long time on an action adventure book for 9 to 12 year olds, about an 11-year old boy called Angus McFangus (lovely name!).
This book has now been sold by Madeleine Buston at the Darley Anderson agency, to US publisher Greenwillow books, who are part of HarperCollins - as the first of a series of four Angus McFangus books! It's a super deal, and I personally can't wait to read the first book -
ANGUS MCFANGUS - STORM PROPHET - which is going to be published in the States next year, and I hope UK publication will follow soon! (OK, so I'm not 9-12 years old, but the first line about the book on Darley Anderson's website: You know something is seriously wrong when it starts raining newts and frogs... has got me hooked already!).
I wouldn't be surprised if Angus McFangus could be the new Harry Potter! And I'll be proud to say I was sharing Anne's success with her mum right at the very start. Huge congratulations to Anne, and I think we can all agree that it gives us some hope ... the deals are still out there, you just need to write the right story, and find the right agent, and above all have the talent and perseverance necessary. I promise to keep you all updated about Angus McFangus!