what not to say when someone you know has a book deal.



s o me b o d y  h a s   s  e  e n   i t


and we just Happened to have called them (such are the mysterious and delicious ways of Serendipity) and they whispered that they had a copy on their desk.

(they were near the Warehouse when the Shipment came in, ready to be sent, in large boxes we hope – apart from the kindle editions which will go wrapped in virtual-tissue-paper-with-japanese-sequins we are convinced)

and this is what they said.

“it’s really beautiful.”

did you hear that?


we were meant to be a grown-up at that point in the Telephone call but we had to pause as If we were thinking about something Useful for a future Point to be Made but actually we had to put a hand over the receiver (yes, it was the Princess Phone) and make sure our tears did not tumble over eyelashes and onto the laptop.

“it’s really beautiful.”


so it’s Real.

it now exists.

it has been an idea, a manuscript, a annotated mock-up, a pitch copy, a word doc with different iterations of edit notes from our Publisher in Manhattan (such a lovely phrase) and a package-to-be-sold (elegantly) by our Agent and now, well, now, it’s Real.

which means we are Almost an Author.

and there have been various reactions to this imminent event.

some of which have pleased us GREATLY (the delicious responses to articles that were written to promote, the kind previews from people who had access to Netgalley – quelle moderne)

and others?




those have made us cross.

but (said Very Brightly) all is not lost.

because we can Write about it Here.

let’s go back a tiny bit.

remember this post?

it’s one of our Most popular (and shared widely on the “social graph” as the MBAs opine which just means “a lot of people liked it and sent the link to their nice friends via tweets, facebook wall-thingies and old-fashioned-but-still-very-effective-Email and also through Google+ – especially if they live in Berlin or San Francisco and perhaps even an emoticon-over-the-top dashed off Instant Message or two – it has happened)

so we thought we’d do a Follow-Up and see if this amuses/helps too.

What Not To Say When Someone You Know Has A Book Deal (our answers interspersed so when this happens to you, you’ll have a riposte or two)

1. oh! really? (confused slightly angry pained stomach look) – I had no idea you wrote.

[this means, “I write. You were a Suit.”]

2. oh! really? how did YOU get a book deal?

[depending on the time you want to spend with this person, you could do the short version: “I wrote one.” or the longer exposition: “I blogged everyday, had a story to tell, took all the photographs, went through the surgery, and medical leave, kept writing, mocked up a book using blurb.com, sent out MANY letters to agents, had lunch, took people to lunch, was taken to lunch, accepted all introductions humbly and showed up with hair brushed and chapstick applied, sent thank you notes,  finished it, polished it, started a blog to promote it, found an audience, had it nicely typed with double spacing and a cover letter with marketing materials and plot lines and prospective audience segments and competitive set and requisite sales figures of similar books, kept writing, got signed by an agent, did ALL the revisions she suggested without complaining, kept writing, more revisions, let my agent do her job and didn’t pester her during the sales process, squealed on the street in manhattan when she left a darling message saying I had a book deal, sent her white roses to say thank you, met with the Publisher again, did LOTS of revisions, took more photographs as requested, more revisions and fact checking, kept writing, was patient, sent out 500 – yes – 500 – personal notes to people on a postcard with a cover of the book to ask them if they’d like to see a press copy or just to say thank you to them for inspiring me – including ALL Librarians who have helped us to a great education, kept writing, did more revisions, final fact checking, showed up whenever asked for press meetings, wrote articles to promote the book, didn’t complain, ever, kept writing, more thank you notes – that’s it, basically, that’s how we did it. Any questions?”]

3. will it be available in the shops?

[translation: did you really find a Real Publisher who ships to actual stores?]

4. when is it coming out? (we liked this one particularly when they professed to have enjoyed our 60 second promo video which clearly states the launch date but at the end so perhaps they never got that far)

[as much as we were DYING to bust them on not having watched the promo, we didn’t. “Feb 18th” was our only answer and “Yes, very excited.” *sighs*]

5. I have a manuscript. Well, not really a manuscript. I mean it’s not Finished. But I’ve sketched out a few ideas for a chapter or two. Just the final chapter really. I mean I know how it ends but not, you know, the Actual story………………..would you read it/send it to your agent/edit it for free?

[I’m not a literary agent. Or a publisher. And definitely not an Editor. So – When you’ve finished it, polished it, started a blog to promote it, found an audience, have it nicely typed with double spacing and a cover letter with marketing materials and plot lines and prospective audience segments and competitive set and requisite sales figures of similar books – sure, I’ll ask my agent if she wants to read it.]

6. I thought you had a proper job.

[translation: I’d love to leave my job but I’m terrified. How dare you do it and prove it’s possible.]

7. Bet you miss that salary in Manhattan. It’s not like anyone can actually make a living from writing anymore.

[actually we are.]

8. Oh. Yeah, I heard that you had a book or something. Send us a copy.

[translation: I’m not going to spend money buying your book. I’m far too important.]

9. But you’re still consulting, right? Just to be safe?

[translation: I hate my job. I hate that you love your life. How dare you.]

10. are you still writing that little blog? you did seem to enjoy writing it.

[no response. d e l e t e.]

11. Oh. is it only in American? I suppose it won’t get translated into other languages unless it really is something that sells extremely well.

[no response. but last time we checked the American domestic market with international sales was pretty healthy.]

Oh that felt SO GOOD!

wish we’d been honest years ago.

but there again we might not have needed a 5 and a half hour surgery to remove tumo(u)rs from our throat if we had been, like, Totally Honest all these years.

in other news.


while we wait for a preview copy of our own book *blush*, we sit in wonderment with Ms. Janet Flanner who makes for Extremely Entertaining company. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we read her very early in the morning before we start our day. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

also reading the Tales of another extraordinarily Adventurous writer. more on Annemarie Schwarzenbach soon’ish. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

there’s something so delicious looking at our own bookshelves, modest as they are, and imagining how excited our own book will be to nestle between Noel and Truman and Sybille…….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

or possible Plum Wodehouse and Cecil and Miss N. Mitford…..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

or Vita Sackville-West and Madame Spanier….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

talking of PARIS (which we always are when we mention Madame Spanier), we’ve been trying to Track people that we used to know whom we spent time with in Paris but to no avail, as yet.

we can hear their voice as a clear as a bell when somehow, someone tells them, that who-we-are-in-RL has a Book coming Out.


much twinkling will ensue.


and we think of our adventures that have taken us to other Continents and worlds beyond our knowledge thanks to that fancy job in Manhattan (and our own strangely compelling personality that Likes to Explore and Ask Lots of Questions). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a question we’ve been getting lately is: “are you having a book launch?”

and the answer is No.

for several reasons:

1. book launches are from the days before the Interweb when you needed a “Splash” in the Papers from all the book reviewers lurking in the dark corners of your Party with the cheap plonk and dodgy appetizers.

2. book launches are for photographs (and you know we’re not Awfully keen on being photographed).

3. book launches are where people might make comments (see above 1 – 10) and they’re Impossible to d e l e t e or movetospam/trash, unlike online *ironiceyebrowtocamera2*OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we take a little time to admire our prior personality with the much-longer-name which used to appear in magazines in the *gulps* mid-90s (this is the cover story of Punch if you were peering closely and wondered).

and we’ve met many a shy talented person to interview them in our former life (this is the wonderful Mr. David Sims)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and then there’s You.

which is why we have a book at all.

because if we hadn’t stayed here – especially with our Throat bound post-surgery when we could-not-talk – and Told You what it was like to go through it all and come out the other side – we might have Put it Behind Us (which it what an Awful lot of people told us to do) and then, well, then, we’d never have had the confidence to keep going and Write a Book. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

so we’ll keep writing.

because you are here.

and we can have a launch party of our very own.


thank you for listening.


a year ago today: Tumor removal and a lot of Tea to follow.

oh darlings.

has it been a whole YEAR?

since we had our throat slit and tobias-and-his-sisters were removed?


we recall the 4AM wake-up call and standing outside in the dark shivering from fear and seeing the cheery presence of Cheltenham-Lady walking down the street as if she had just gone to the second-hand bookshop in Norfolk and found a delicious first edition and wanted to show us – she was brilliant – we tried to talk in the Taxi and stay bright and not fall apart and she kept us going – right to the bit at the hospital when they were going to check us in and we’d not known about American things like having-someone-as-an-emergency contact (we have one now) or someone who could make decisions should something awful happen (um, still working on that one) so that was all a bit scary.

the robe was nice – sort of lavender with Very Clever sensors and electrical circuits clipped to our vital organs and a heat pad to keep us warm while they Took Us Down (where exactly is that?)

william had sent us a 1970s Ladybird (yes, that English children’s classic line) book to explain what might Happen.

it wasn’t Exactly like that (the scrubs were blue as we recall, and the operating Theatre – love that they call it that – was a Very High Tech “space” full of flashing lights and whirring noises and Many People) but it did help to be a bit prepared.

actually, to be Completely Honest for a second, nothing could have prepared us.

and maybe that’s for the Best.

here is our hospital bed that we lay in for a day or so.

usually we make-the-bed but we didn’t have the strength and besides – if you can picture this – it was right before we got Discharged (and had to have a Strong conversation with the Very Young resident – in mime and pencil-on-paper – because we could not speak due to the operation which got Awfully Close to our vocal chords and the Very Tight bandages around our neck) and we were standing holding the tubes still linking us to the drip (on a Not Attractive silver wheel-y pedestal) holding our (forbidden) smartphone device to take a picture.


we almost forgot we had this one – yes, these are the pumps on the legs that keep one’s blood flowing during HOURS of lying and the oxygen tube stuck up one’s nostrils (not nice) and the drip (saline by this point we believe as our brain had come back nicely – or not-so-nicely – more Dear gods What Just Happened??) in our arm.

why thank you – yes – that was a nice light tan on the left knee (not just on the left knee, but obviously that’s all that’s showing here) – we’d just been in L.A – Quite Freaked out the week or so before.

mC came the next day to visit with a lukewarm milky beverage and a copy of the FT Weekend (we weren’t working, promise, we just like the magazine and the lunch-with-column and the interview with writers about why-they-write)

then Bf came to get us in his Car (we were very grateful and gosh Manhattan was a shock after the relative solitude of a hospital room) and stayed and made us laugh inside our OUCH bandages and brought his dog who comforted us with her Huge Eyes. sob.

and then what happened….

well – we stayed at home for almost a month.

lovely people who lived not-too-far-away came to visit.

So Many Lovely people sent flowers.

and we spent Many Hours lying on the sofa looking at them..

listening to Lots of mix-tapes that delicious people sent to us – for every mood and hour and feeling (dear gods, there were Lots of Feelings during this medical leave)

and Many splendid people sent books and parcels and we started to unwind our poor stressed head for the first time in what felt like a decade.

we spent HOURS in bed – sleeplessness being a Distinct Feature of medical leave #sigh

thank goodness for excellent cotton sheets, silk dressing gowns and Pots of Tea on a Tray.

we had never spent so much time in the bathroom (nausea – we won’t go into this in any detail whatsoever but it was horrid)

and here we are – a year on – with a scar on the neck.

we were Most Grateful to T who peered at it and said (in her sparkly Fashion/British voice)

I rather like it.

the pearls help.

a year ago: the long night before the knives on the throat.

strange how one (almost) forgets.

we woke up at a leisurely hour (it’s saturday in our part of the world – already sunday for our friends-in-Asia, we know) and took the pill that replaces-our-thyroid-and-glands and rested for a while (to let it absorb into our body, we guess, we never asked, sort of don’t want to know how it works, darlings) and then padded to the kitchen in bare feet to make coffee.

while the machine gurgled and hissed and made lovely dark-embrace-of-caffeine-producing sounds, we read our daily meditation (doing a bit-of-a-Zen-trip at the moment) and considered our navel (which was beneath a delicious shocking raspberry silk shift, so not actually considered it, more metaphorically) and looked around.

today’s mediation was lovely – may we share a little with you?

I want to make myself an empty room:
Quiet whitewashed walls with slant sunshine
And a fresh breeze through open windows.

We do not have enough peace. Yet peace will never be attained by perpetual action. Stirred water never has the chance to settle clear. A tree buffeted by winds can never grow straight. Give up all unnecessary activity. Give up all arbitrary actions. Make yourself receptive. The peace that you seek shall be quickly at hand.

isn’t that delicious?

we resolved to do more drifting, and less action today.

and then we remembered the date today: september 8th, 2012

remember september 8th, 2011 (if you were with us then – and so many of you kind and good RL and virtual friends were there to walk us through that day, we recall)?

the long night before the long knives on-the-throat

look back – but don’t stare.

somebody said this to us the other day.

and we smiled.


look back – but don’t stare.

there have been times where we have most definitely looked back in anger (don’t you just love Richard Burton but, on second thoughts, might not want to invite him to your virtual dinner party?) and, talking of Angry Young(ish) Men, we’ve always enjoyed Oasis‘s take on the matter:

Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don’t you know you might find
A better place to play

so we will just take a moment – look back – and then get ready for the day.

if you’re in NYC today, take an umbrella – there’s a big thunderstorm in the pendulous clouds up there…..


a thousand thanks, even in the rain.

so it’s raining again.

to someone who grew up in england there’s a resignation about the rain.

to someone who grew up with a sense of adventure, the sight of a pink umbrella is like spotting a Kindred Spirit across a crowded room of people-in-suits – a Friend!

thank goodness there are Lots of Pink Umbrella people in manhattan ;-)

on the subject of Thanks:

we had an extraordinary moment yesterday where we suddenly (don’t you Adore Serendipity?) we saw the name of the person who first sponsored our Very First Visa to the USA – just there, in an innocent email – we had Quite forgotten them (we didn’t know them Very well as they were in Another Country for most of the time and we were charged to work on the Other Coast eventually – a long story – for another blog post – or perhaps another blog…)


yesterday, we found their email address and said Thank You.

thank you.

and we invited them to Lunch (because they’re a business Chap and chaps-do-lunch – quite short lunches, but lunches nevertheless – however with the Lady – or more Cultured Executives and Glam Types we suggest Tea at the St. Regis because then there’s the Tantalizing prospect of cake. And Real teapots and china cups and cherubs and a grand piano and a harpist and Really Good Lighting – via a splendiferous number of Chandeliers…….business chaps don’t usually understand the Swoon factor of a Chandelier.  or cake.)

it felt great to say thank you.

then we said thank you to Kathleen Turner.*

it was a mid-week-oh-god-it-is-raining-and-we-are-tired sort of a feeling post-work-meetings so we took ourselves to the Cinema, because That Always Helps and saw The Perfect Family.

*we don’t actually Know Kathleen Turner – not yet, anyway. But we sent her a note to say thank you for making the movie.

what did we think of the movie?

well – it’s curious.

because the Trailer is cut (see – use of professional term alert ;-) to render the text (cue Academic treatise-style) as a comedic force.

but actually it’s a heart-warming, deeply serious look at faith, families and expectations and growing up with unbelievable pressures to conform and then – it being a movie – all hell (sorry, couldn’t resist) breaks loose and as the Original movie poster says “heaven help them”.

highly recommended.

a little slow in parts.

which was perfect for a wednesday – and the subject matter.

and yes – tears were shed somewhere around Act II.

so thank you to the Chap who sponsored our Original work visa to the USA – AND Kathleen Turner.


one more…..

we’re Back At the Doctors this morning (no, not the surgeon’s office where we first heard about Tobias the tumor (before he had sisters and then there-were-three) but to the Other Doctor (it’s NYC – we have several – unlike England where we barely saw one our entire life until emigrating ;-)

this doctor is the one we said Thank You to as she (for tis a Lady Doctor) found the first lump.

don’t like the feel of this

were her exact words.

did you not notice this?

she said.

and we replied (Rather Wittily, we thought, despite the Great Fear of the word LUMP coursing through our Neuro-core at The Time).

gosh. no. um. that Is a Lump, isn’t it. Well, we don’t usually put our hands around our neck – or get into Those Kind of Relationships anymore so we didn’t feel it.

she looked sideways at us, was there a faint smile?

and then the World crashed in.

and you know the Rest.

so thank you.

to the Lady Doctor who-found-Tobias

thank you to the Chap who sponsored our first Work Visa to the USA in 2001

and a final thank you to Kathleen Turner.

for being Kathleen Turner – but also, most recently, making The Perfect Family.

which made for the Perfect Wednesday Night at the cinema.

a thousand thanks.


a warm glow.


that Did Feel Good.

surgeon visit = more meds. #sigh

so our blood tests came back…..

…….so we headed Back to The Hospital for the following:

1. Pressing of the Scar (ow!)

2. Stuff ending in _caine shot up nose (ugh!)

3. Camera up nose and Down Throat (ow!!)

4. Neck squeezed (ow!) for more tumors (all clear there)

5. Pulse taken (excellent)

6. Blood test results – Not So Good

……….so More Meds #ugh

Returning June for follow up.


And then we posted to instagram and the Love-li-ness brought moist tears to eyes.


Isn’t the Internet bloody Lovely?!

Thank you for listening.

What did people do Before the Internet when poorly?

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.




a year ago today: starting to become gloria(ous)


a Very Special day.

a Year Ago – april 9th, 2011 – we published our first Ever post on teamgloria.com………….

we had wanted to write So Badly (that didn’t sound quite right – clearly we wanted to write Very Brilliantly) – we meant we were Desperate to express ourselves using the written word after a Long Time of not doing so, since we became something of a Suit .

the Day Job (shhhh!) came with a Great deal of deeply Interesting Travel to exotic places so we wanted to ‘document’ That.

Many Moons ago, we had paid our way through University by taking Photographs and dearly wanted to start shooting again (and looking to a future of photography books and small-but-beautifully-curated-exhibitions at Staley Wise and Peter Fetterman, please ;)

Oddly enough – on april 9th, 2011 – we Did have Tumors – but we didn’t know until May that There Was A Problem.

In fact, that week – we had Just returned from Washington (yes, we went to That House Of No Hue and yes, the Man himself was there, in the same room (oddly Versailles like to be honest – the decor, not the Leader of the Western World) but as we didn’t shake hands, we cannot say we’ve Met him (although we Have met Debbie Reynolds and Boy George and Sir Ian McKellen and William Shatner and Many Other Most famous personages, darlings) per se.

we had also (under Yet Another pseudonym, blush) had one of our Short Plays performed in NYC (most definitely Off-Broadway, in fact, as we recall, somewhere deep and dive-y and east village-y but Awfully Hip).

so Much has happened in twelve months………

But nothing like what is About to happen ;)

Patience is Not our strongest virtue.

and we just wanted to say how much we Relish (in a lip-smacking, beaming-at-you-way-from-the-sofa-in-SoHo) – yes RELISH – talking to you, while we see everything unfold.

Please keep talking in the comments bit below.

You have No Idea how much we Squeal with excitement and Joy (often on the subway platform, heading to the sniper-fire-of-midtown-manhattan) when we get a little notification that There’s A Comment.

It’s a blog.

So this is most definitely a Shared Experience.

and it is Utterly Delicious.

Thank you for reading.

don’t forget to write (hint).

Love from us at teamgloria, darlings xxxx

six months ago.

So six months ago, today life looked very scary.

And today?

Today we took the Scar swimming at Le Bristol, in Paris, and celebrated turning (snip) un certain age ;)

Isn’t life Utterly Delicious?

We have beautiful friends and an exciting future ahead.

and a splendid suggestion of how to mark this afternoon….


post illness thoughts

there’s something odd about having been sick – gone through surgery – been confined to the house – vulnerable and Very Poorly for a while – then the return to the Day Job – slow recovery and……………now what?

you see we had prepared for the worst.

Or not the worst, per se, but “being ill” – you know, going through one of the first half of those cancer memoirs, having Big Thoughts about Life and then prepping for the post-illness “Now We Know Better” stage.

And then it didn’t happen.

Yes, we were sick – with three Tumors/tumours/Tobias to prove it.

And sure, we went through the Surgery (OW) and all the other painfully slow painful stuff of crawling through life without a thyroid and inside the melancholic soup of increasing thyroid dosages.

But now?

Once we got the benign diagnosis on aforementioned tumors what were we left with?

Not much of a to-be-written memoir.

Well, not about illness Anyway. Plenty of material otherwise – but not quite yet.

Our health is pretty peachy now.

A little too curvy (effects of synthroid – unexpected Jane Russell cleavage) but even that is being toned and slapped into gorgeous shape by swimming.

Not that we want to go into it here but we also gave up the incessant control around food.

It just became So Exhausting.

Our body seems relieved and, strangely (or maybe not), a tiny bit excited (vanilla icecream with every meal?!) Ha. It will take a Long Time.

The truth is we had mentally prepared to be sick for a while. Because that’s what it looked like was going to happen.

And then it didn’t.

And so we’re left with this Having Learned Big Lessons – being open and softer and loving being gloria and GLORIAous – but Not Sick.

It’s strange.

Is that where all the anger comes from?

We had battened down the hatches, ready. And then it didn’t happen. And we felt that most people (but Not You, darlings) expected us – demanded in some cases – that we needed to Move On.

But we need to do something good with this.

We’ve been writing and photographing and thinking and creating since april 9 2010 (yes, ironically a month Before we got the Tobias official biopsy, isn’t That an Irony – as if the Muses knew we’d need to be gloria to get through It All).

And it’s ten months later……………..

But we’re still waiting for the green card (#sigh) and so can’t be Public (and we’d really like to be – it’s Truly Weird how many times we’re now in places where people know us in RL and here, as gloria) and do the “how to stay sane in a crazy world” picture book or talk about tricks and tools for surviving high stress corporate environments with Something approaching grace and gloriousness ;)

The tumors/tumours/Tobias clearly obscured our diseased glands (also now ripped out) which were full of rage and non-expressed-grief.

Because that’s where we are Now – Not Sick and yet boiling with rage.

And not just because the office dimensions at the Day Job are shrinking (careful).

That’s just Irritating.

check up and blood test results and the descending melancholy

so it’s here – winter – with its bare trees and dark gloomy mornings………….

and not a good smile to be found chez teamgloria (although tis only halfway into the first few moments of caffeine’s dark embrace ;)

we have our check up, back at the surgeon’s office today – blood test results (is the body still freaking out at the absence of the three tumors/tumours/Tobias together with the diseased-battered glands and a strangled thyroid?)

and the bit we Really Hate.

when they force a tube down our nose into our throat (after spraying some substance that has some distinctly similar properties of numbing and well-being-albeit-brief from the days of Studio 54, darlings – apparently non-negotiable) which has a camera and probe attached as they look at the (sadly still swollen and inflammed according to our special accupuncture/chiropractor/shaman magic man Dr. P) remains of our slain throat.

then after that hideousness, the surgeon lectures us about our scar maintenance (we just Don’t Like Pressing on the scar to make it blend in – It Makes Us Sick to our stomach).

and he demonstrates how to do it.


(the sound of a teamgloria, mascara coursing down her cheeks)

so wherever you are today – a little soothing thought at 3pm EST (american friends) or 1500 hours + 5 or + 6 for our europeans (so that would be mid-first-act Theatre or a Late Supper in Vienna sort of a time) or a nuit blanche (lucky you) for our kind Friends in Asia – or a very late night clubbing and returning home, high heels in hand, Burberry trench casually slung (vintage, naturally) over your companion’s arm and a smile on your face to send good wellness vibes from the land of mystery and intrigue and breathtaking economic rising……..actually, your thoughts can only help, no matter how exhausted you are at 3AM, love.

thanks for listening – it helps.

are you worried about anything today you’d like to “share with the group”?


go on.

the water’s warm here – we like to listen, with a concerned and loving half-smile, while toying with our grapefruit in the morning……..