I saw my editor and publisher Iris Tupholme yesterday at the HarperCollins office in Toronto. The sweetest thing is the big screen in the reception saying, in huge letters, “Welcome, Sandra Gulland.” I always get a kick out of it, and love that fact that for all these thirty years, Norma is still there and leaps up for a hug.
I had a short coffee-meet with my new publicist, Lindsey Love (what a perfect name!), so Iris and I chatted briefly in the comfy lobby chairs. Iris was well pregnant with her youngest when we first met in my agent’s office, and now that youngest is ready for a career. We each remember stories going way back.
Iris expressed her very great pleasure that Mistress of the Sun has been on the Globe & Mail Canadian bestseller list for a month now, and in the top 10! I was touched by how she described each Saturday, when the paper arrives. She can’t bear to look right away. She sneaks up on it. First, she’ll look at the non-fiction. And then, finally, glance at the fiction list to see if Mistress is there. Hurrah! Sometimes, later on in the day, she’ll go back to look again.
“You’re worse than I am!” I told her.
Iris has other authors on that list, some of whom practically live on that list. I was touched how excited she was by Mistress‘s success. She—and my book is a “she,” no?—might fall off the list next Saturday, but it’s a hard list to get on, and “a month is a lot,” Iris told me.
Every time I think of this conversation, I smile.