I signed my first ever book deal two days ago and today I sent the inked contract to my agent in New York City.
I started talking seriously about writing a book in January 2012 when I was first approached by the agent I have today. However, it wasn’t until later that year, during the summer in France, that I started to believe I could rise to the task.
In September, 2012 I rather rashly suggested to both my agent and the interested publisher that I’d send them 10,000 words by the end of the month. I hadn’t written a word at this point. I’d only jotted a bunch of thoughts in a graph paper notebook.
The understanding was, if the publisher liked the 10,000 words, we would talk. If they didn’t, then the project would be dead before it’d started. Fortunately, the response was positive,
We’ve all read it and are thrilled with how it’s going. Very very pleased and excited. Proceed. It’s great.
And proceed I have, but I’m still far from finished. In fact, very, very far from finished. The majority of the coming year will be spent researching, travelling, writing and editing. It’s all very, very exciting. I expect the publisher’s official announcement will come sometime soon.
And, here for posterity, are the congratulations from friends and colleagues on Twitter moments after I signed.
chapeau bas RT @noodlepie: Wow. I just signed my first ever book contract (finally). More soon.
— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) May 29, 2013
— Robin Hamman (@Cybersoc) May 29, 2013
@noodlepie Congrats. On Vietnamese food?
— marc blank-settle (@MarcSettle) May 29, 2013
And in answer to that last point from my BBC colleague Marc, the answer is, of course, a resounding YES.
Street food in Vietnam, the people who make it, my experience of it and not a lot else.
Photo taken from my Flickr account.
UPDATE: from my old friend in central Africa,
— Eric R Taylor (@e4taylor) May 31, 2013