When three friends, Sarah, Helen and Paige, went for a long lunch one Saturday in November, none of us had any idea it would change our lives for ever.
Sarah Lotz is an internationally published author of a number of novels and collaborations, Helen Moffett is a world-class editor, poet and feminist academic, and Paige Nick is an author, Sunday Times columnist and advertising copywriter.
Over a few glasses of something or other, we started chatting about how nice it would be to collaborate on a project. When Sarah mentioned an idea she’d had for a choose-your-own-adventure erotic novel, patterned on those books we used to read as kids, it blew our minds.
We plotted out the series together over lunch, half-joking, half-serious. The first novel would be called A Girl Walks into a Bar, and the hook is that you – the reader – would be a girl out for a night on the town, who gets stood up at the last minute by your best friend. Then over the course of the evening, the reader would meet a series of strangers: from a sexy rock star to a rich older businessman, or even a hot new neighbour. And you would get to choose who you want to have naughty, sexy times with.
By the time Paige got home that evening (it was a long lunch), the first chapter was fully formed in her mind. So she wrote it and sent it off to Sarah and Helen the next day. Then Helen wrote a sexy second scene, and the rest is some very sexy history.
When Sarah told her literary agent in London the idea over the phone, there was a long silence before he said, ‘I don’t know if this idea is genius or insanity.’
So we sent off the first ten thousand words of A Girl Walks into a Bar, a synopsis, and ideas for another two books in the series just before Christmas. And it was January when things really started to go crazy, with a series of international bidding wars, and publishing deals in nineteen countries, including the UK and USA, and translations as far afield as Iceland, Hungary and Taiwan.
A Girl Walks into a Bar launches globally as an eBook on 15 July, and as a paperback in November 2013. It will be followed by A Girl Walks into a Wedding, which also launches as an eBook in November, and the third Girl book, launching early 2014.