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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

The ‘stuff of dreams’ moment I almost missed…

What a week. What a crazy, crazy week.

It actually started with me getting a bit sad while reading The Bookseller. The article was Frankfurt 2023: Agents’ Hotlists: the books agencies are backing to fly at Frankfurt. As I scrolled through the list of incredible-sounding books I had to give up halfway through. I gave a wistful sigh that basically said, ‘Well, lucky old them. I wish that was me…’ Then I closed the article and got on with my writing.

A little later, I received an email forwarded to me by my publisher. I read it, but got so excited halfway through that I couldn’t see properly. Does that ever happen to you? My eyes ran over the words but didn’t take a thing in. All I could do was swear. Loudly. Repeatedly. Excitedly.

It took me five reads before I managed to take in the salient information. But I still couldn’t believe it, so I called my partner. Then my sister. Then my mum. They couldn’t believe it, either.

A production company – a well-known one, tied to a household-name actor – wants to read Estella’s Expectations as they think it sounds ‘very interesting’.

Holy guacamole.

Now, I know the reality of the situation. Hardly anything gets optioned. Hardly anything that gets optioned actually gets filmed. So the chances of Estella’s Expectations making it onto the screen are slim to nothing. But..hey, why not get excited? Why not dream? I’m closer than I’ve ever been before to seeing an adaptation of my book come to life. That’s incredible! That’s to be celebrated with, if not champagne, then a seriously gooey cake.


Even more miraculous is the fact that this is the second approach I’ve had about possible adaptations. Even as I type this, there are people reading Estella’s Expectations and trying to work out if they want to put it on the screen. It simply blows my mind.

Anyway, I started to think about that article in The Bookseller again, and how my publisher had mentioned something about a hot list, and I started to wonder… I went back to it, read it again (carefully this time) and…and…and, what an idiot I was, because right there for all to see was my book!

So it’s fair to say that this week has been one of surprises. Unbelievable, incredible, stuff-of-dreams type surprises. And while I wait to see what happens next, I’ll continue to hunch over my laptop writing out the make-believe world in my head, while dressed in trousers with an elasticated waist, and a hoodie that most likely has a stain on it that I’ll notice in two days’ time. Because while posts like this make it sound like life is all glamour and glitz, that’s a writer’s real world!

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