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The ups and Downs of a young woman's life.
My dad got really annoyed with me when I ran over to show the contract to Rocky.
You might think it strange that I'd value Rocky's input more than my parents', but it was Rocky who'd encouraged me and set me on the path that I was now intending to take. No one in my family had ever taken very much interest in my writing in the past. My sister had always been the golden girl in our house. Plus, Rocky had advised me to let his friend Brief, have a look-over any contract before I committed myself to signing anything.
Rocky quickly called Brief on the telephone and he came over to my parents' house straight away. Mum, Dad and Sally Parks the agent were completely taken aback, when a very smart and efficient looking Martin Pringle entered the house and announced himself, as my legal representative.
After a lot of negotiating over the next couple of days, Brief got Sally Parks to make some significant changes to the contract. A whole lot of which, I didn't understand at all. But Brief told me the changes gave me an out of the contract if I wanted it in the future, and laid down exactly how big (or little) a percentage of my (hopefully massive) literary earnings that Sally Parks could get her hands on. I know I was pleased that I'd taken Rocky's advice and got Brief in on those negotiations.
Dad was worried about how much Brief was going to charge for his work. But Brief looked at me and pointing to his cheek said, "For Rocky's girl, a kiss right here will suffice for now. But I do expect you to retain me as your permanent legal representative when you're rich and famous."
He got two kisses and a promise that he'd be the only solicitor I ever hire in the future. Martin Pringle and Partners are still my legal representatives to this day. Unfortunately I had been too excited about the contract that day to have taken enough notice of the exact words that Brief had used.
Sally after reading through a lot of my stories wanted me to turn one of the longer ones into a children's novel. She was making hints that I could be the next JK Rowlin. I had no illusions on that score but I thought Sally must know what she was talking about, so I agreed to do so.
Actually doing that would take a lot of time and here Rocky came to my aid yet again. He offered me a part time job doing - or rather making sense of - his paperwork. Rocky was one for just stuffing everything into a draw and letting Taxman (another of his friends) sort it all out at the end of the financial year.
I jumped at his offer and quit my job at the factory immediately. So after that, in the mornings or for as long as it took, I did Rocky's paperwork and in the afternoons I wrote. And I sold some of Rocky's work when required; I was still using his computer to write my stories.
It took me three months before I was happy with my book. I sent the final version to Sally; a little over a week later she called and told me it had been accepted by a publisher. I think she must have been showing them the proofs. Then there was a four-month wait until it was published. I have no idea whether that was a long or short time to wait before the book hit the shops, but it seemed like an absolute age to me.
Sally called me and said the first couple of days' sales were quite good and then I heard nothing from her for a week or so. Then one Sunday afternoon Sally called me to tell me I was going to be on breakfast television the following morning. My book was almost sold out and they were rushing through a second print run and talking about a third.
At five on the Monday morning a chauffeur driven car pulled up outside my parents' house with Sally and a woman called Wonder inside.