Talented new novelist Mhairi McFarlane has topped the Amazon fiction chart with the release of her first book You Had Me At Hello.
A two-book deal with major publisher Harper Collins is “like the most unbelievable joyous con-trick,” the 36-year-old writer, who includes Hollywood star Minnie Driver among her fans.
“I can think up silly ideas and get paid for it like for a proper job.”
The former journalist lived in Milton Keynes in the 1980’s when her father, Craig McFarlane, lectured in quantum mechanics at the Open University, and she often speaks and tweets about her childhood in the city.
The book is a classic chick lit romance – boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy but boy is now married.
It’s a story which asks: “What happens when the one that got away comes back?”
It is fun and witty, and it is no wonder that Mhairi has already been talking to screen agent Mark Casarotto about having it turned into “a lovely clever little commercial rom-com.”
Mhairi moved to Nottingham after leaving Milton Keynes, where she now lives with her boyfriend and her cat, Mister Miffy. The next book is due in December 2013.
“It’s another funny romance, because obviously the publishing company doesn’t set you up with an audience and then start selling oranges after apples,” she said.
One of the new generation of Twitter-friendly writers, Mhairi’s screen agent followed her on the social media site, as did Driver.
“Harper Collins said my Twitter feed is part of my appeal,” she said. “I was absolutely amazed.
“My positive comments for the second edition, on the whole they’re from my Twitter friends.”