Digital Originals: A Year On by by Clare Hey
On this day a year ago, all of us at Team BATC were holding our collective breath and watching our inboxes. Because on 15 July 2014 we held our first ever Books and the City Open Submission Day, with the hope of finding a brilliant new author to publish on our Digital Originals list. It was pretty nerve-wracking as we didn’t know whether anyone would submit. In the end we were overwhelmed by the response and had piles and piles of submissions to read.
Out of those manuscripts came one which caught all our attention: The Cherry Tree Café by Heidi Swain. It had that special something – a story that drew us in; characters we cared about; a lovely setting; and it was all about cakes and crafting – things we hold dear to our hearts here at BATC! It tells the story of Lizzie Dixon, who moves back to her home town to escape a broken heart, and finds herself helping set up the absolutely lovely Cherry Tree Café. We all wish this place existed in real life, but until then we’ll have to imagine it by reading Heidi’s novel.
And, with a beautiful symmetry that almost looks as though it was planned (though that would imply we were much more organised than we probably are), we are a year later holding our second Open Day and we’re on the eve of publication of The Cherry Tree Café. Heidi has written about what this felt like to her, and if you’re about to press ‘send’ on your manuscript, I would recommend you read her words of experience.
And if you’re looking for something delicious, inspiring and escapist for your tea-break treat, then hop on over to The Cherry Tree Café to lose yourself in a world of cupcakes and bunting.
And us? We’ll be waiting to see what treats we discover in our inbox this year. Who knows what we’ll be publishing this time next year? Keep posted to find out…