Last week, after whirlwind approaches from an agent and a publisher, she
[Judith O'Reilly] signed a deal to turn the blog, which has become a
surprise hit in Britain and America, into a book to be published by Viking
Penguin. Her publisher believes the theme of a former career woman following a
dream to bring up a young family in rural surroundings will tap into the
zeitgeist of the postBridget Jones generation. O’Reilly’s wry, poignant
descriptions of her life have met sudden success because of stylish writing and
the power of having the right connections in cyberspace. Like the pop singer
Lily Allen, who came to prominence through her site on MySpace, O’Reilly found
an audience on the internet before breaking into the traditional media. “It’s
amazing, it’s all happened so fast,” said O’Reilly, who had not had any paid
work for months after moving north from London. In mid-January her blog was
mentioned on the website of Tom Watson, the MP and regular blogger, whom she had asked for advice. The next day Iain Dale, the political commentator and another
prolific blogger, linked Wife in the North on his site. That in turn led Andrew
Sullivan, the American writer and Sunday Times columnist, to note its quality.
US readers soon logged on in droves. Within days Patrick Walsh, a British
literary agent and publisher, had seen the potential and began working on a
deal. “I’ve done other blogs,” said Walsh, “but what’s so refreshing is that it
isn’t about sex or celebrity; it’s wry, humorous and honest.” O’Reilly, 42, left
her previous job as education correspondent of The Sunday Times and moved to
Northumberland because her husband Alastair loved the area and wanted to bring
up their family away from east London.
Well it's nice to have played a small part in Judith's success. Now, where are all those literary agents beating a path to my door? Silence...
UPDATE: The Sunday Times leader article is also about blogging. Read it HERE. I don't think I have been mentioned in an editorial before!