Gilly McAllister

I had no idea on that sunny July morning that my life was about to change. It wasn't a very typical morning, actually. I was on a course all week, not at my desk, and was enjoying the short hours and the socialising. I'd found a nearby independent cafe that sold delicious vanilla lattes and was consuming two a day. At 1pm, idly checking my email on my lunch hour, I saw it. And that's when my life changed. 

But there's a bit of backstory, first. I had written a novel, sporadically, over the preceding few years, and finally queried agents the previous summer. After a few full manuscript requests and quite a lot of angst, it was roundly rejected. I researched the querying process, then, though, and I realised that my rejections weren't absolutely typical. Only a few were form rejections, and most of the others said things like, "send me your next novel, if you write one," and "you write really well, but I'm not sure this has a big enough concept for a debut into publishing." I …