Bodie signs with Summersdale!

October 30, 2016

Looking back over my books I see the one that reflects my wayward youth (Divas Las Vegas), the one with the plotline that came to me a dream (I Love Capri), the one that taught me to salsa (Living La Vida Loca) and the one with the paperback cover that made me want to poke out my own eyes (California Dreaming). And then there’s Bodie On The Road (The Dogged Pursuit of Happiness) – the true account of a life-changing 2,000 mile West Coast road trip Bodie and I took when we first met.

This one I call my ‘labour of love’.

It’s taken years of tinkering and seeking out the perfect-fit publisher but now I’ve found that in Summersdale. From the first moment I glimpsed their Tavel Writing section I got a lovely swimmy-happy sensation – the kind of feeling you get sitting in a Greek taverna looking out over the glinting water awaiting your spanakopita. I smiled at titles like An Octopus in my Ouzo, How Not To Travel The World and the genius nod to Bill Bryson’s Notes From A Small Island – Goats From A Small Island by Anna Nicholas. In fact all the covers for her Mallorcan series charmed me – I loved the colours, the higgelty-piggelty details and of course the animal theme…

lizard-luggage-summersdale  Cover for chorus of cockerel book summersdale

I sent over a mini-pitch for Bodie On The Road – The Dogged Pursuit of Happiness and Editor Debbie Chapman wrote back saying the idea combined two of her favourite things – Dogs and Travel! We arranged to meet up at the London Book Fair and had one of those super-enthusiastic conversations where you feel entirely on the same page (always good where books are concerned). I found the whole team to be so warm and friendly but there was just one more test…

Exterior of Stanfords Travel Bookshop

Photo: Karola Gajada

Ever since I was a teenager I’ve longed to have a book on the shelf at Stanfords aka The World’s Biggest Map & Travel Store. (I don’t think I’ve ever walked through Covent Garden without going inside and swooning at the global goodies.) I left the London Book Fair, took a bus to Long Acre and said, ‘If I can find one Summersdale title here, they will be the Bodie book publisher!’

First I surveyed the window display… On the right hand side there were 20 or more travel-themed books. I stepped into the doorway so I could look for the red Summersdale logo and counted over 10! Wow! Then I looked at the left hand window display – a rather different set up, entirely filled with copies of Tom Chesshyre’s Ticket To Ride. I peered at the spines. You guessed it – Summersdale! Talk about a resounding yes from the universe!

from-source-to-the-sea-tom-chesshyre  cover of Ticket to Ride book summers dale

Bodie and I celebrated signing the deal by taking a trip to the summer home of my first favourite author – Agatha Christie’s Greenway in Devon. Did you know she dedicated Dumb Witness to her dog, a Wire-Haired Terrier named Peter? Here we are reading in her Boathouse hideaway (with Bodie’s furry bottom on my flip-flopped foot – just like it was the day we first met!) Suitably exhausted walking the extensive grounds it’s now time to settle in with a cup of tea and let the editing begin…

Writer Belinda and dog Bodie at Agatha Christie's Greenway Boathouse

BODIE ON THE ROAD will be published by Summersdale July 2017!


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