Today the Saturday Girls appears on the shelves.
My niece went to her local Sainsbury’s first thing this morning and sent me this photograph.
People sent messages and cards. I met friends for coffee and drinks. My publisher, Bonnier Zaffre sent an enormous bunch of flowers.
I dropped into Crouch End Waterstone’s and discussed a future event there. Date to be confirmed. A fancy meal at our neighbourhood Italian restaurant rounded off a perfect day.
But before that I was asked to answer some questions for a book website. One of the questions was if the book had a theme song, what would it be? And I thought it would have to be Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs. Perhaps not a song, to be precise, but oh, such a cool piece of music.
So here is the news.
Beyond the Beehive has been purchased by the publisher Bonnier Zaffre. Beyond the Beehive is a story of female friendship and the search for love and adventure in Essex in the 1960s, a time of political and social change. The book will reappear in a fabulous new edition with a big Z on its spine, in a bookshop near you in the New Year. It will be swiftly followed by a second 60s novel, in the summer.
I signed the contract last week, and I also went to Wimpole Street (think Elizabeth Barrett, Wilkie Collins, Paul McCartney – apparently he and John Lennon wrote ‘I Wanna Hold your Hand’ there) for a meeting with Bonnier Zaffre in their swish offices where lots of young people sat in front of computers in rooms buzzing with energy.
I’m so pleased for the characters in Beehive, it is a book which is close to my heart,. So to all you out there who have bought the book, borrowed it from the library, talked about it in your book group, come to talks. Thank you. You put it out there, in the air, and Bonnier Zaffre picked it up and run
I also love the way things have turned out because I rather like the letter Z. It is so Other. I can never believe l actually have a Z in my own name. In my heart I’m surprised I’m not really called something like Penny. But Z has followed me throughout my life. When l was at Birmingham University there was a satirical ‘magazine’ pinned on to a wall in the Student Union building and l had a column on it under a pen-name. And that name was Zoë Meldrum. Zoë. So let’s hear it for the letter Z.