Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Call

It seems like a lifetime ago I last posted. Half of me is gleefully jumping into the change, half of me is clinging to the edge of my unpublished life with my fingernails. I'm doing a lot of thinking about professionalism, memberships, training, promotion, marketing... and I'm doing a lot of calm, productive, therapeutic and even nostalgic activities, like going blackberrying* and making damson and sloe gin.

I fear change...

But this is a good change, a very good change, and it's been worked for, agonised over and, I hope, earned.

I'm not going to bring the name of my publisher into it until the contract's finalised, so if something goes horribly wrong at least I'm only embarassing myself.

But that little reticence notwithstanding, let me tell you about my Call. Some time I'll tell you about the whole history of this MS, but this post is just about my Call.

I got home on Tuesday evening... no, wait. That doesn't tell you enough about my day.

I got home from the hospital on Thursday evening. I had an appointment at the fertility clinic where they scratched their heads over why I'm not pregnant after over two years of trying, and booked me in for an exploratory day surgery in January. They're lovely people, and there's usually a few tears and a lot of laughs. This time we majored on laughs, and if I'm honest I'm having far more good days than bad days about it lately, but I still got home feeling tired and a little down.

Then I checked our voicemail. And heard an American accent.

Now, when you're English and writing for a US market, the sound of a US accent on your voicemail has a special significance. Sometimes its Michelle or Julie, but their thoroughly anglicised tones are readily recognisable. Occasionally it's Sela, but I know her voice, too.

This voice didn't belong to any of them. In the first few words, my stomach clenched, my heart went bu-DUMP and I lost my peripheral vision.

I didn't lose my hearing. The lovely, warm voice told me she was an editor, that she worked for a publisher I'd submitted to, and that she'd been trying really hard to get in touch with me.

I remember the paper I wrote on was blue. I remember the pencil was blunt and I was afraid I'd written down her number wrong.

I remember running backwards and forwards in the living room while the cats looked on in amazement. Then I found a direction, ran upstairs to the phone in my office and called Julie. Yeah, I know. I'm pathetic. ;-)

Julie was her usual supportive self and pointed out that it might be a little early to panic, and wouldn't it be a good idea to call the Editor back?

Oh yeah.

So I did.

She was there. She told me that my book had become a little lost in the system, but that once discovered, it was loved. She told me they wanted to buy it, and added a couple of mind-blowing compliments for good measure. I even actually remember what she said about what happens next. I think I was coherent. I suspect I might have come across as blase, but I wasn't. We ended the call, I sat down to e-mail her my details, and then I picked up the phone again and started calling people.

For the record, it's possible my mother is even more excited and hyper about the news than I am...

My overwhelming feelings after that phone conversation were wonder, joy, panic and a kind of fierce exultation that came from feeling I was truly justified in loving that book. There's nothing like it. I recommend it!

You know, my Call was a real shock. And I mean that in the for-God's-sake-lay-her-down-and-elevate-her-legs sense. You see, I'd all but forgotten that submission, and certainly I'd written it off. They'd had it a while. (I should explain that this delay was not down to current Editors!) And, boy, I know how long submissions can take - the first time I submitted this MS (to another publisher), I waited 14 months for a request for revisions. So I wasn't expecting any contact.

I really wasn't expecting a sale!

But that's what I got.


I think I need to pick some more blackberries.

* And isn't it wonderful that this time last year I was blogging about a rejection, and just had enough sense to say that there would be a time for this story. And enough sense to know that blackberrying is balm to a soul in turmoil, whether good turmoil or bad.


At 4:10 pm, Blogger Loreth Anne White said...

Ah, Anna, you give me goosebumps. And a yearning for blackberries. 'Fierce exultation' ... I love that! Can *feel* it.

Congratulations again. You deserve this.


At 5:18 pm, Blogger Jaye said...

I second, Loreth, you sooo deserve this. :o) Thanks for sharing your Call story, Anna! ))HappyHugs(( Keep bouncing!

At 5:25 pm, Blogger Sela Carsen said...

More bouncing over here!! I'd have called, but I turned off my phone (with overseas long distance service) the day I found out!

What a great story, Anna. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

At 6:45 pm, Anonymous mary beth said...

YAY Anna. What a wonderful story. Can't wait to hear more. Enjoy your berries.

At 6:46 pm, Blogger Jessica Raymond said...

Hurrah! I've been checking back lots to see if you've posted more details, and it's fab to read about them. Massive 'well done you' again! Jess x

At 7:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's ROCKEN news!! About damn time.;-) I totally dug what I read of that story.


Have you stopped dancing yet? ;-)

Chaoscat writing as Samantha Storm

At 12:06 am, Blogger JENNA said...

I am glad you thoroughly enjoyed your well-deserved Call!

At 7:17 am, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

Thank you everyone! This wouldn't be half so much fun if it wasn't happening in the company of friends. :-D

I'm sitting here in my dressing gown trying to think business while really wanting a 'do-nothing' day!

At 10:41 am, Blogger Nell Dixon said...

Wonderful story! I'm so happy for you - hope you get good news after the day surgery too.

At 11:25 am, Anonymous Michelle said...

So excited for you!!! Can't wait to go buy your book. Such wonderful news!!! Love the call story. :)

At 3:31 pm, Blogger Michelle Styles said...

I do so love a good call story. And for anumber of reasons, yours is one of the BEST!!!

Many, many congrats again.

At 6:05 pm, Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

What an awesome story, Anna! Wow. I can't wait to hear more about it and to grab a copy for myself.


At 3:30 pm, Blogger Edie said...

Anna, I heard part of this on GIAM, but it's good enough to read again and again. Congratulations!

At 2:01 pm, Blogger Larissa said...

I'm WAY late with this, but congratulations!!!! I'll bet you're still on the ceiling! :)

At 10:39 pm, Blogger Anne McAllister said...

I'm way way way late, Anna, but I just got home and am finally on a computer that will let me email again. So congratulations!!!!!!!!!! Kate told me while I was in England, but I couldn't get to a place to send my very best wishes until now.

Hooray! Couldn't have happened to a better writer!


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