Soft Landings

The last stop on our three week holiday was Tobago, dream island in the Caribbean.

I was happier than I’d been for years. This was the turning point. From now on everything was going to be fine. I had MADE IT! I was going to be rich… (not, however, rich and famous. Though we needed money, I wasn’t keen on any kind of celebrity-author status. I’ve always been shy and avoided the spotlight, so rich was quite enough for me.)

There’d be international contracts and a movie deal, new houses for me and my mother, the best schools for my children, and cross-Atlantic visits whenever we wanted them – not to mention unlimited visits to my beloved India, and a second home there.

And of course more visits to this beautiful island of Tobago. We all fell in love with Tobago. My son learned scuba diving and fell in love with the underwater world. My daughter and I had our hair braided – she with extensions, me with cornrows, expertly executed by a local lady on the beach. This is how I looked…. I was 47, and never felt better or younger.

I hadn’t heard from my agent or the results of the auction; but communication is always difficult when travelling and I hadn’t given her my mother’s number. It was all in the hands of Fate, and Fate was being kind to me, at last. Believe me, I deserved it….

But man proposes, God disposes. Back in Germany, I learned that things hadn’t turned out quite according to my dreams. All three interested publishing houses balked at an all-out bidding war, and the offers never went above that first deal from HarperCollins. So we did what I’d wanted all along, grabbed the money and ran, and I came down from cloud nine – not a crash landing, but a very beneficial bump back into reality.


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