You didn't actually think I was going to write about the call, did you?
If you ask my husband, he'll tell you I live in a fantasy world half the time. When we're driving down the road and he asks me a question, generally I'm staring off in to space living the lives of my characters, totally oblivious to anything going on around me. When I'm working around the house, even watching TV, scenes and dialogue are running through my head. We're all writers, we DO that. It's how we're wired. But let's be honest, what better fantasy is there to replay over and over in your head than the call?
I'll admit it. I've had numerous call fantasies (and no, Lisa, not of the 976-spank-me variety). The most elaborate was a few years ago when I won the 2006 Atlanta National registration fee in the Romancing The Tome contest. The final round agent had requested the manuscript, and at the time, I had another full manuscript at Silhouette Intimate Moments. My call fantasy included a call from the final round agent gushing about how fabulous my book was, followed by another call from the SIM editor gushing about how fabulous the OTHER book was. A sale and an agent, all within days. What better fantasy is there than that?
Of course, as you all know, that fantasy did not come true. The agent sent me a form rejection (on the same book that sold to Dorchester, no less!) and the SIM editor sent me a personalized rejection that made it clear they didn't want me to ever resubmit that book to them again. Ouch. Oh, there were other fantasies - like selling a week after signing with my (current) agent in a six figure deal (now THAT was a nice fantasy) - but that one fantasy of landing both a sale and an agent all at the same time was one that stuck with me for a long time, and I've never forgotten it.
After I signed with my agent and I had my first *almost sale* (in case you missed that story - first editor loved it, committee eventually passed because it wasn't like the other RS's they were publishing), I stopped fantasizing. It was too hard. Too much work to get your hopes up and then have them squashed. I didn't let myself fantasize (too much). I just kept writing. Of course, those little fantasies snuck in now and then, but I didn't let them grow and develop and I didn't dwell on them. I figured, it'll happen when it happens, and fantasizing about it will just make me nuts.
No matter how much I fantasized though, the reality of the call was both more exciting and more stressful than I ever imagined. In my fantasies, I was bouncing off the walls, screaming with excitement. In reality, I was so in shock, I could barely speak. My agent kept asking me, "You are excited about this, right? I told the editor you were going to be excited." Somehow I think I fumbled out a, "Um. Yeah. I'm excited," but honestly I'm not entirely sure what I said. Don't get me wrong. I was - AM - very excited and thrilled. But the moment I heard "you sold" the fantasy quickly became reality and what I'd been dreaming of doing for so long suddenly became my job.
People have asked me how I've celebrated. Genene's been razzing me because I said I celebrated by cleaning toilets. That's actually the truth, strange as it may seem. I was still in a fog that whole day after getting the call, and I needed to do something normal (okay, cleaning toilets isn't normal, but it was a chore that needed to be done and as such is normal in my world) to keep my mind off the ten-thousand things I was suddenly thinking about - like deadlines and contracts and sell-throughs and print runs and titles and plots and...oh my!!!!! I never in a million years realized there would be SO much to consider outside the whole "you just sold" excitement.
It's taken a few days for the whole thing to sink in. The more I announce it, the more excited I become because I see how excited everyone around me is. And last night - Thank GOD!!!! - ideas for book three started popping into my head. For a moment there (okay, longer than a moment), I was worried I wasn't going to be able to come up with anything. Talk about a moment of panic. And last night we went out to dinner with friends - to really celebrate - and I've pretty much had a smile on my face ever since.
It's REAL now.
I would love to hear your call fantasies. And if you've already received the call, I'd love to hear if the reality was what you expected or if it was something else.
And to everyone who has called me and sent me emails and congratulated me here on this blog, or on my personal blog, I just want to say a great big THANK YOU!!! I am so blessed to have friends like you!