When I went to the WhitLit Author's Day last summer, my first novel completed but still to find a publisher, I saw Matthew Smith talk about independent publishing as the energetic side of publishing. I was intrigued. For he spoke of bringing the author back to the heart of the publishing process. That authors were not just producers of content but a creative and commercial force in the success of their work. That he believed in involving authors at every stage of the publishing process. I asked my agent, the lovely Laura Morris, what she thought. She would say she was from the 'old school' of publishing, so approaching an independent was a new step for her. But content with the answers to her questions, she offered the manuscript to Matthew. With a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, the deal was done. An item in The Bookseller made it real. http://www.thebookseller.com/news/emotive-debut-urbane-319490. Mention of a ‘perfect addition to our growing list, but a debut author to watch. Urbane is keen to publish new talent and novels that are both beautiful and ground-breaking…’ I felt a sensation new to me. I was going to have my first novel, The Huntingfield Paintress, published and by a company that was itself part of the changing face of publishing.