Sunday, 12 August 2012

Book Diaries #1

I've finally signed my book contract - whoop whoop, so there's no going back now EEK!!

How absolutely exciting. Well, to be honest my emotions over the past few months have ranged from wildly excited, to frustrated and just plain scared. At the moment I'm panicking as to whether my work is good enough for a book. Now I'll just have to make sure it is!!!.

How did it all begin, you may ask. Well, some time ago I'd put together my own book synopsis and started sending it to prospective publishers. I didn't hear anything back from any of them. Not a dicky bird. How disappointing after ll my hard work. Oh well, I thought, I'll try again with another idea.

But before I got that far, I received a random email out of the blue from a publishing company called Quintet. They'd contacted me once before about a potential book deal called 'Knitted Letters', but I didn't hear anything further from them after my initial response. In fact I've just seen on the worldwide web that the fabulous Catherine Hurst is authoring that book for them. My presumption is that they contact a few prospective authors for each book and choose the most suitable. It obviously wasn't me for the Knitted Letters book.

This time around, they asked if I'd be interested in a Fun Knitted Hats book. I responded with a yes (of course) and they asked me to write the book synopsis, a biography and knit up a couple of samples along with instructions. Armed with my work, they went off to a book fair to 'sell' the book concept and hey presto, it attracted interest and the book went live.

Since then, I've been to-ing and fro-ing with the very patient editor at Quintet about sizes, designs, book content etc. The planning really does take a long time but it's important to get everything right before I start designing and knitting.

So, I'm now in the process of sketching the hats. There are 30 in total so it's rather time-consuming. I had to take some quick sketching lessons from my artist daughter Kate (you can read all about Kate's work here). Thanks to Kate, my sketches look good and are being well-received. I've quite enjoyed sitting and drawing in the lovely sunshine we've been having.

The hats are meant to be fun and wacky, so it's not a serious book. Perhaps the content isn't exactly what I'd have chosen, but I'm excited all the same and I'm determined to make the book as great as I possibly can.

So far, my main concern has been about hat sizing. Children's heads vary so much and grow quickly from birth to child age, but after a lot of discussion and research I'm finally happy with the sizing which seems to compare well with other knitted hat books. I love working out the stitch counts and shaping - with my mathematical mind, it's just up my street.

I invited my knitty friend Tracey Todhunter to design 8 of the hats for the book and she's as excited as I am. (you can read about Tracey's work here). We talked last year about taking over the world with our knitting and crochet, and here we are writing a book. It just shows that with hard work and determination you can achieve your dreams.

I've been tinkering about with the first few designs  and I'm delighed with the outcome. They're looking fab and funky. I just need some cute little heads to try them on for me.

In the meantime, I'm still working on my magazine commissions, so I'll be knitting and crocheting in every spare moment to meet my deadlines. Wish me luck and I'll keep you informed on my progress.

Thanks to everyone who's supported me so far and for helping me to believe in myself.

Happy crafting xx