Prologue

270 17 4

SparkyMay @sparkymay

Woman loses phone, almost starves to death. Says didn't see point in eating if she couldn't share her #nomnomnom pictures on Instagram.

I don't usually tweet pictures of my food but Clare Willis has outdone herself this time. We're used to her unveiling sophisticated tarts and rich chocolate cakes with dustings of cinnamon and crushed hazelnut. Never have we seen her make anything this bright. The icing is the perfect Twitter blue and as smooth as plastic. I don't know how she's managed to get the shape so accurate; the bird's breast curving into an apostrophe, its wings clipped into three, a delicate beak open to tweet #OMG May Sparks has a job! in a speech bubble of white icing. A Twitter brand manager would have been proud to witness such attention to detail.

Emma puts her arm around me and gives me a squeeze. Clare finally loosens the cork on the prosecco, the celebratory pop accompanying the reappearance of Anna who has been breastfeeding three month old Hughie.

"Hit me!" she says, reaching out for one of Clare's frosted champagne flutes. "It's now or never."

Hughie is the reason we're at Anna's flat rather than some noisy bar on nearby Clapham High Street. I'm glad of it now. I feel this warm glow spread over me as I look around at my lovely friends. They are so pleased for me.

And me? Am I pleased for me? Right now, my main feeling is of relief that those six months working as an unpaid intern for the freshly bankrupted fashion magazine, Belle Femme, weren't a complete waste of time. I could have ended up like the other staff, unemployed once again, but instead I got singled out by Craig Brown to be a founding member of his new PR startup. It was the award that swung it. Despite dire sales, we won The Reader Engagement on Social Media Award. Bit of a mouthful, but an award is an award, whether celebrated at Claridges with Veuve Clicquot, or in a drafty community centre with Tesco's finest.

Everyone knew it was down to me, because there hadn't been any social media engagement until I turned up and gave Belle Femme a Twitter account. Craig wanted me because, being Twitter savvy, Facebook fluent, Pinterest proficient, Insta-sightful, and Blogger-herant, makes me the perfect candidate to help celebrities with their social media marketing.

"You've got to promise us you'll never talk in hashtags," Anna says.

If she followed me on Twitter, she'd be aware of my view on unnecessary hashtags.

SparkyMay @sparkymay

#Hashtagging #every #word #makes #you #look #like #an #idiot...

"I would never talk in hashtags," I say, and wait a beat, "hashtag-never-say-never!"

Anna groans. "It's begun."

I laugh, enjoying myself. I still can't quite believe I'm going to be paid so much money for doing something that comes second nature to me. I've been tweeting since Twitter was born and have managed to attract eight thousand followers just by poking fun at life and sharing my way of seeing things 140 characters at a time.

Craig is starting me on thirty grand and assures me my income will double by the end of the year. Double! It feels a bit like winning the lottery to be honest. A good salary hasn't exactly run in the family. There's not one banker or broker on our family tree. There's a lot of volunteers though, including a cousin on my Mum's side who was shot in Rwanda while working as a nurse.

#PleaseRetweetRead this story for FREE!