The Call came last Tuesday, right after I drove away from school, my day job. I almost didn't answer the phone. I was in the car and figured it was probably one of my sons calling. Whatever they wanted, we could discuss it as soon as I made it home.
But I was still in the parking lot so I flipped open the phone. Maybe a ride hadn't come through.
"Terry, this is Paula, from Harlequin."
I pulled over.
The rest of the conversation is somewhat of a blur. Of course, I couldn't find the notebook that I always carry in the car (located it as soon as I pulled into the driveway and reached behind me for my purse!). I had to rely on my memory when I recounted the tale to my husband but the gist of the discussion came through loud and clear: "We want to buy your book!"
During my beginning writing years, I used to daydream about The Call. I wrote dialogue in my head for the editor and me, envisioning the kinds of things the editor would tell me. I wasn't sure what would be said, since I didn't have a writing group at that time and had never talked to a 'real author.' I had to rely on my imagination. I have to admit, some of my daydreams probably bore a strong resemblance to Ralphie's, from A Christmas Story, when he writes the greatest theme ever!
My first call came several years ago. Only certain aspects of that call are clear, also. Where I was standing when the phone rang. The fact that my mom was visiting and sitting just a few feet away from me. But just thinking about that afternoon can bring back the thrill of knowing that my words were going to be published, that my name was going to be on a book. Better than any daydream I ever had.
At one time, I wondered if the excitement of getting The Call would diminish. There would only be one first call, one first book. Would my heart race and my breath catch the next time?
For me, it does! I think it's because each book has been a new and exciting adventure. The Call last week was my first call from Harlequin and it's for a new line. The book is one that has been close to my heart since I first wrote it. It's a little different than my other books, longer in both words and time period, and not the type of book that was being published. But the story wouldn't leave me alone, I had to write it, and then I bided my time, writing other things. Once I heard about Harlequin's new line -- first called Epic, now Everlasting -- I knew where I was going to send my manuscript.
This week, I've been bombarded with congratulations from friends in town and online. The outpouring of good wishes have kept me smiling so much, I feel like I'm back at my wedding. When I'm in the midst of the revisions and business aspects of this new adventure, that's what I'll fall back on to keep going.
And, of course, the thrill that winged up my spine when I heard those first words: "Terry, this is Paula, from Harlequin."
So, how does/did The Call affect you? And, please, let me know the excitement never goes away!