by Carmel Harrington
I can remember that first day as if it were but a moment ago, the details forever carved in my memory alongside other big milestones such as my first crush, first date and first love.
October 25th, 2013. Maybe part of the reason it felt so memorable was the very fact that I had no expectation that it would be the day.
I was excited enough, simply because I was going to a pretty special party. It will be of no surprise to those that know me – I’m partial to a good party! I had dressed with care, bejewelled, lipglossed and heeled and together with friends arrived at the venue, excited to meet both new friends.
I was late, which is very unlike me. I’m normally punctual, but the traffic in London was as traffic in big cities can be – unpredictable. So feeling a little flustered upon my entrance, I rushed in and didn’t see you, despite the fact that you were right there in front of me.
Looking back now, I can’t believe I didn’t see you, because I’d dreamt of that first time for so long.
Charlotte walked over to me and nodded in your direction and at last I cottoned on and looked up. There you were, proudly on display, resplendent beside Joanna Trollope. I’ll always remember that detail, as it seemed to incredulous to me that you would be beside a woman of her literary stature.
I was unprepared for the emotion that suddenly engulfed me. I knew the day was coming of course, as I said, I had dreamt and thought of little else for years. But to finally see you there, well I did what any self-respecting woman would do – I burst into tears.
It felt right that Charlotte Ledger my editor, was with me for that moment. I like to think of her as our matchmaker – the one who lovingly guided us towards each other – the one who made sure you were dressed in your Sunday best – the one who believed that we should meet. I wonder how often does she get to see first times like this and I suspect the answer is a lot. I’ll always be grateful.
So who did I see for the first time on October 25th, 2013? None other than my debut novel Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, in glorious paperback print! As I held you close to me and looked in wonder at my name on the beautiful cover, I was in wondrous awe. And truth be told, every time I see you, I still am.
Now, I wait in delicious anticipation for the moment I first see The Life You Left, my second novel. I know it’s coming soon … I can feel it!
Carmel Harrington is the bestselling Irish author of Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, published by HarperCollins. She has won several international awards including Kindle Book of Year and Romantic eBook of Year in 2013 and her book is on sale online and also in bookshops throughout Ireland, UK and USA. Her second novel, The Life You Left will be published 19th June 2014. Carmel has been interviewed on RTE1’s Today Show, TV3’s IrelandAM and The Morning Show and also on US TV on Indiana’s WNDU, plus has been a regular guest on radio stations nationally, including BBCRadio 1 Ulster, RTERadio1, Newstalk and many regional stations. She has written articles for The Irish Independent, The Daily Mail, The Evening Herald & Woman’s Way.
A native of Wexford, she lives with her husband Roger and young children Amelia and Nate in the beautiful village of Screen. For all the latest updates you can find her http://www.carmelharrington.com or follow her on Twitter (@happymrsh).