One day I get a phone call, we've had a look at your website - would you like to publish a book about mosaics? Well, what would you say? I said YES, Yes please I'd love to - and who am I talking to anyway? (actually it doesn't matter).
Having said Yes, to Hamlyns as it happened, (and they are a great publisher with really smart and well designed books), then they told me how much time I had - it was February, it had to be done by the 17th June and I still had to meet them, discuss content and draw up a contract.
I asked them how were they so sure I was capable of the writing part? They said they loved my website - it seemed the writing on there was up to standard. The contract details were finalised by APRIL, yes it took that long, and despite not having anything in writing I was already beavering away in my shed on the ideas they had indicated would probably go ahead.
The next few months were very hectic, thank goodness for my iphone, how handy to take pictures sitting at my desk, email them off for approval and get an affirmative answer a matter of moments later on colours and styles. When working as a designer in the 1980's & 90's I often had a courier hovering by my desk, waiting to snatch away layouts and rush them to another part of London - not nearly so immediate and a lot more stressful!
My children loved the experience too, dad works away from home all week, so they got four months of uninterrupted TV, endless time on their playstation, never having to tidy their rooms (so great to have an excuse not to do these odious chores, I didn't tidy the house either) and to eat pizzas til it was coming out of their ears.
It all went off on the 21st June and by July the photography was finished & corrections to the written part were all completed. And then. It. All. Went. Quiet.
The economy closed down and the book, now fully proofed, went 'on hold'. Companies who had purchased advance copies went under and it looked for a long time as though it would never see the light of day. I stopped asking the publisher.
One day, a few weeks ago, Allan Punton, fellow BAMM member emailed. Congratulations, I see you've published a book! Really I said (probably to his confusion). Yes it's on Amazon. So at last, it's published, 18 months behind schedule, but actually now on the shelves. My dreams of book signings in New York, Sydney and London have not materialised and no one has stopped to ask me for my autograph in the street, (though a child from a local school did phone up the other day to interview me for his school magazine), but I’m really really happy to finally hold a lovely silky and solid copy in my hand.
So I hope some of you mosaicists out there will buy and enjoy, and perhaps, if you get a phone call out of the blue asking if you would like to write a book, you might think of stocking up on something other than pizzas.
Anne Cardwell, Stylish Mosaics