I often thought about being published and I kept writing books: a memoir, three novels in the bottom drawer and a lost romance novel. Once a publisher would nurture a new author but would a publisher today take the time to nurture and guide a new author? And would a publisher take on an unknown author with no social media following that counts? Would a publishing company be interested in one of my own interests: recycling! I can say yes to all the above questions because it happened to me. My soon to be published novel Castle of Dreams was picked up through Allen & Allen’s innovative Friday Pitch (which is everyday now) in other words the slush pile which is a stack of unsolicited manuscripts that have been sent to a publishing company for consideration. I like the old-fashioned values of Allen & Unwin: curtesy, consideration, thoughtfullness, and yes the nurturing of a writer who will soon have her first novel published. I’ve read many comments about the ‘big five’ some complimentary others not so. Writers have to remember the publisher needs to make money to survive and publish books and if you sign the contract you have to accept what is in that contract. I signed away the movie rights and other rights with no hesitation, after all I’m not going to go to Hollywood to meet producers and tell them my novel would make the best film ever. I’m not mathematically inclined (although I do see the beauty and wonder of numbers) but it doesn’t take mathematical ability to work out how much Allen & Unwin have invested to get my work to publication. My editors were fabulous people, intelligent and forthright, who didn’t muck around when they needed to tell me something in the novel wasn’t working and while I wasn’t expected to change anything I didn’t agree with (and some things I didn’t and didn’t change) I respected the professionalism and experience they brought to editing my novel and I thought carefully about any comments. I went to one of my local book stores recently to buy a book and was told the Allen & Unwin rep had already been to their store! Castle of Dreams is on the booksellers order list. It will be published on 27th April of this year and I can feel the excitement building. So if I can help make my book a success by doing some publicity and making Castle of Dreams a winner I will.