Well, it looks like I'm a real writer after all.

I got an email from my agent this afternoon telling me - I had to read it two or three times before it sunk in what I was reading - that I am being given an immediate offer of seven and a half thousand pounds for Angel Stations, to be published sometime next year (I presume, knowing the slow movements of the publishing industry) by Pan's new book imprint, Tor UK. The book, however, will need revisions, which are of course no problem. Nonetheless, it's a pretty special thing to get a straight-up offer like that, instead of a more typical 'revise it first and then we'll talk money' situation. So I'm very lucky. I'll get half this amount on signing the contract, the other half on (if I recall, not having the print-out to hand) publication. Keep in mind, of course, my agency (the Dorian Literary Agency) will take their percentage cut. And then there's the inevitable taxes, somewhere down the line ...

But it gets better. Since I'm already a fair bit into Against Gravity, I've sold that too. For eight thousand pounds, a quarter up front (I think - darn, where is that bit of paper??).

The funny thing is, it hasn't really sunk in yet. I've been working so hard towards this for so long now, it's ... almost but not quite ... not a surprise.

If I go through to my kitchen, there's a board on the wall with photos and old ticket stubs etc pinned up on it. One of those photos is from ten years ago, when I still had really long hair. There are three people in the picture. On the left is me. On the right is Mike Cobley, my old flatmate who has a fantasy trilogy halfway through from Simon and Schuster's Earthlight imprint. And in between is the guy I interviewed for a small press science fiction magazine, is Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the highly influential Red Mars trilogy. He is a Big Name writer.

At the time the picture was taken, both me and Mike were years from being published novelists. Years and years and years from it. But now, when I look at the picture, what I see is three novelists, and that amazes me. I'm going to scan it in and put a link up sometime when I get the chance.

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