embracebookslogo_reasonably_smallPeople who follow me on Twitter may have spotted this rather enigmatic tweet that appeared late last Wednesday afternoon. Time to explain, I guess.

The reason for my tweet was that I’d just put the phone down after a rather significant conversation with Steve Haynes of Proxima Books. Steve is the editor responsible for this new science fiction and fantasy imprint within Salt Publishing and he’d just called me to tell me that Proxima were very keen to publish “Mrs Darcy vs The Aliens” in print in the summer of 2011. Not only that, but Salt themselves are very excited and intend to throw their whole weight behind the project!

This has all happened remarkably quickly. My initial submission to Proxima of the prologue plus first three chapters (equivalent to 15 episodes of the online serialisation) went in precisely a month ago, on October 15th. I did this hours after spotting a tweet from Jane Holland, the lady in charge of Embrace Books, the sister imprint to Proxima, calling for submissions. Steve Haynes got back to me a few days later with a whole slew of comments, saying that if I could address these, he would be very keen to see the whole manuscript.

At this point, the main problem was that I was still around 10000 words short of the end, but it was too good an opportunity to miss, so I knuckled down and bashed out the remaining words at near-nano rate, made the edits and re-submitted just over a week later. After an agonising wait, I got an e-mail to say that they loved the manuscript, which was followed by an even more agonising wait whilst I waited to hear if it was going to be a digital-only or a print publication. Then last Wednesday I got a voicemail asking me to call Steve because he had some good news for me – and the news was that it was indeed going to have a proper print run.

It’s hard to describe just how excited I am about this. Ever since I bought my first Salt book, I’ve wanted to be a Salt author, because their books are just so damned good in every respect. It is, however, more than a little weird to imagine that something as daft as Mrs Darcy is going to be published by them. Unbelievably cool, though.

The other thing that I’m excited about is that my editor at Proxima seems to like the book for all the right reasons and he really does seem to be someone I can work with. And in many ways, Proxima is just the right place for Mrs Darcy – a science fiction and fantasy series with the Embrace Regency romance imprint as its next-door neighbour.

But the thing that I’m really pinching myself about is that for once in my life I seem to have set out towards a goal, devised my own pretty unconventional tactics for getting there and somehow made it. What a strange year it’s been, eh?

Oh, and I nearly forgot. Meanwhile back at Rosings, there are some misunderstandings