Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Call

I've been dreaming about making this post since we started this blog...since before that actually. And frankly, now that it's time, I'm not sure where to start :-) I know, sacrilege for a writer. The beginning is so important. So maybe I'll start at the end and work my way back.

Tuesday night we had just finished dinner and DH had taken the girls outside for a walk. I was looking at the paperwork that came with our new cat, enjoying the peace and quiet I hadn't gotten all day... a fairly mundane existence - until my cell phone rang. From there the rest of the night is a bit of a blur. I distinctly remember Brenda Chin saying she was going to buy my book for the Blaze line (although I'll admit that later in the night I allowed doubt to creep in and checked my caller ID to ensure I hadn't hallucinated the whole thing). I'm pretty sure I yelled directly in her ear (sorry, Brenda!) and most definitely made a complete idiot of myself (because there is no telling WHAT I said). I made numerous phone calls despite the fact that almost NO ONE would answer their phone. Not PC, PM, SP, my mother, my sister... I riled the girls, the dog and both the cats up so much that no one settled down until after ten o'clock. Needless to say, I got very little sleep. Not that I'm complaining! :-)

Everyone I've shared the news with over the last few days has asked for details on my journey to this point so, I'm going to share them here. This book began in August 2005 with an editor appointment at a Southern Magic meeting. I had written a query letter detailing the book I wanted to pitch but I never got that far. It turned out that Brenda had recently purchased a similar book and couldn't look at it. She asked if I had anything else to pitch. Thank God I did! It was just a bare bones idea that I had thrown a pitch together for right before Reno. I literally had nothing more than what was on those few note cards. But she liked the concept and after discussing a few things she asked for the partial.

I went home and furiously wrote the first chapter and submitted it to the Blaze contest. While I was waiting on the results, I finished the partial and submitted it as well. The end of October I received a phone call saying I'd placed 2nd in the contest with Curing Dr. Desire.

The next March I received another phone call from Brenda (while I was on vacation) requesting a few changes to the partial but with the go ahead to complete and submit the full. Over the next year I worked through two sets of major revisions which required me to completely rewrite half of the book. No small task.

But I'll tell you, I learned more about writing during those months than I had in the years before. There is no doubt in my mind that this book is leaps and bounds above where is started because of Brenda's input and her willingness to let me work through the issues to get the story just right.

I've heard it over and over again, perseverance is the key to this business. And it is. I don't doubt that luck also plays a small role. But I'll tell you, even more than those two things, I think finding someone who believes in you as a writer is the lynch pin to success. Surrounding yourself with people who not only tell you what you've done right, but also point out what you've done wrong and help you find a way to fix it...that's what's important.

I've been lucky to find those people in my life. And now I owe them a huge thank you!

Brenda, of course :-) Thank you so much for not giving up on me, Chris or Karyn.
The Playfriends for brainstorming, Rumors, teeter-totters and being there for late night calls and panicked email sessions.
The Mavens for setting such a wonderful example to live by. I want to be all three of you when I grow up!
Rhonda Nelson for that last puzzle piece :-)
Lori Borrill and Leeanne Kennedy for reading...and reading...and reading again.
and Shelley Visconte for the invaluable information.

There's no way I'd be living my dream (or writing this post) without y'all. Thank you!

Instigator
*fans eyes* World Peace

Now who has the teeter-totters?

P.S. Yesterday's winners in the Treasure Hunt are Stacy Schooler and LeeAnn Pelkey. Please email Michelle with your snail mail particulars to claim your prize. Congrats!

P.P.S. Tuesday's winners from Maven LJ's guest blog are cheriej and Lady Vampire. Please email Problem Child with your snail mail address to claim your prize.

54 comments:

Problem Child said...

Nothing to say except SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

(And, I told you so.)

Pam said...

Major congratulations!!

raine said...

Kira, you don't know me from Adam, but it doesn't matter, lol.

Anyone's First Call is a thing to celebrate.

Congratulations!! ;-)

(Hi, Playground Monitor!).

Jerri said...

Big Congrats, Kira. Loved your call story and how you got to that point.

Maureen said...

Congratulations!

jackietoo said...

Yipee! Yahoo! I'm surprised you're coherent enough to write your blog! Congrats!!!!

cas2ajs said...

Big congratulations! Now how long do we have to wait until we get to READ it?

Maven LJ said...

Hooray! This is so exciting. I usually don't SQUEEEE, but it's appropriate here, so SQUEEEEE! :-)

Enjoy, celebrate, smile. I can't wait to have that book in my hands!

LJ

Anonymous said...

Kira, I loved your call story and it is very refreshing to know that editors truly do want to work with writers and buy new books and fresh new voices!

Congratulations, this is just wonderful news! Jamie

Mia Romano said...

Congratulations! I enjoyed hearing about your journey to publication and wish you tons of sales and many more to come!

I'm off to dance around the Maypole for you!

Smarty Pants said...

::saunters in with a couple bottles of champagne, green apple sparkling cider and glasses::

I know its not quite 8AM, but lets kick this party up a notch!

The first playground call party calls for much celebration. Congratulations, Kira. You deserve it!

::pours glass and hands it to her, then starts passing them around::

To the first of many! Cheers!

SP

Rhonda said...

Congratulations, Kira!!!

(And thanks for the drink SP.:-)

Kathy said...

SQUEEEEE! Congrats again, Kira! (Still trying to kick my feet to the side as I jump into the air) I'm so glad I was one of those people who answered the phone! Your 'Call' made my day! Experiencing your joy with you was a life changing moment for me.
I love your post and thanks for sharing your journey.

Where's the camera? I'm here to take pictures of the teeter-totter mania. And more importantly, where's Capt. Jack Sparrow? No party can be a success without our swashbuckling Captain! Hoist the main sail! Heave Ho, me hearties! Give me that horizon. I see the dawn of a fabulous career ahead.

Kathy

Angel said...

Cheers! I'll enjoy one of those, thank you. And since we're celebrating in cyberspace, where calories don't count, how about some cake for breakfast? White on white from our favorite bakery...

Squeeeeeee!!!!!!! Instigator!

You've worked long and hard to get here. We couldn't be more proud! Enjoy every moment of this very special time.

Angel said...

Or maybe I should have made that petit fours? :)

Jen said...

Woohoo, Kira!!! Congratulations! That's so exciting. Enjoy every second of it...and wait until you see your first book on the shelf. ;-)

Instigator said...

Yum! A teeter-totter and petite fours for breakfast. Can't get much better than this :-)

Thanks everyone! Getting to share this moment with such wonderful friends just makes the experience that much sweeter.

Instigator

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Felicitazione! What an exciting milestone and happy, happy time for you. Not only is it cool that it happened, but look how thrilled all your friends are for you. :) That's a very nice thing to see happen. You all share so nicely here in the sandbox.

Now, what's this about teeter-totters? Could they get me into more trouble at RWA?

Captain Jack said...

Did someone mention booze?

Your faithful servant,

J. Sparrow

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oh my gosh, I love getting this kind of news first thing in the morning!!!! I am SO excited for you, Kira!!!!!!

Okay, it's time we meet for lunch again. I'm buying. :) You just tell me when you can go. :) You are an inspiration!!!!

Yippee!!! Paarrrrtyyyyy!

Smarty Pants said...

Alas, no rum, love, but a sweet concoction to render you senseless notheless...

SP

CrystalG said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you. :)

misty wright said...

YAY!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited for you Kira!!! You deserve this and I'm just happy I can say, "I know her." :D

Misty

Angel said...

I wonder what my doctor will have to say at my appointment this morning about me hitting the booze so early? :)

Party on! I'll be back after a while...

Maven Beverly Barton said...

I am so happy for you. Enjoy every moment of this First Sale Euphoria. As one of the Mavens, I feel like a very proud mama.
Beverly

Instigator said...

Probably the same thing my doctor will say, Angel. Here's hoping he can cure this sinus headache before I board a plane for hours of ear-popping entertainment.

Instigator

Julie in Ohio said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! That is wonderful news. I'm so happy for you!!

Anonymous said...

Sha-Kira, Sha-Kira! Hooray for you! I know you've worked hard for this so enjoy every minute of it.

Kristen

Kelley St. John said...

Now, I can't WAIT to add your call story to the others on my site! And I just know we'll have plenty more playfriend stories soon! This group, this blog, the whole shebang totally rocks -- and I'M SO EXCITED to have a friend as the newest BLAZE BABE!!!

You Go, KIRA!!

Kelley

blueberritea said...

Super congrats, Kira!!! Your hard work paid off. You're an inspiration to us wannabes. :D

Anne said...

From Playground Monitor's Hoodlum friends....

Congratulations on this momentous occasion!

Pour the bubbly and celebrate!

Smarty Pants said...

Ok - I need something in my stomach other than cake and champagne. Who wants to order pizza?!

More teeter totters, anyone?

Patricia W. said...

Many congratulations! I love "Call" stories. They're so inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

Portia Da Costa said...

That is a wonderful story! Makes me smile and feel so happy for you...

I never actually got a 'call' for my first sale, but I did get a very lovely letter that set me walking on air!

Enjoy the feeling!

Love

WendyPortia

Carol said...

CONGRATULATIONS, KIRA!!! I just love hearing the stories about how an author reacts when she gets the call! lol

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Kira!! Can't wait to read it! I am so happy for you.
Sherry W.

LeeAnn said...

Kira Congratualtions!!!!!!!
That must be an awsome feeling!

(And THANK YOU about the contest!!)

Anonymous said...

WOW!!

Congratulations, big time! I sure admire your stick-to-it-iveness and persistence and can see how it led to the big sale!

Diana Gardiner-Holden from HOD

Kathy said...

"Why is the rum always gone? Oh, yes. I remember. Kira's settin' the world ablaze!"

KIRA! Ba pa-ba da! Kira! Ba pa-ba da!

Captain Jack told me he wanted everyone to get into a Mumba line. Let's go!

Angel said...

A what line?

I'm back from the doctor with a prescription for some anti-anxiety meds for the 8 hour plane trip to Scotland.

Bet Kira has no anxiety whatsoever at the moment! That will all come later... :)

I also found a copy of LWJ's Haunted (see Tuesday's blog!), which hit the USA Today list. Yay, Linda!!!

So much to celebrate, so little time...

Smarty Pants said...

Mumba...is that like a conga line where you alternate between the mambo and the rumba? :)

Either way, if Jack's hands end up on my hips, we can call it whatever Kathy wants to...

Time for my mid afternoon outburst -

SQQQUUUEEEEE!!

Captain Jack said...

Oh dear heavens. Enough with the squeeing. It's not good for my hangover.

I'd be delighted to dance with you madame. Rumba, Mambo, waltz. Just beware your toes.

Your faithful servant,

J. Sparrow

Sheryl M said...

Congrats!! Another reason to believe in your dreams! Hope all of the Playfriends ave a safe trip, I will keep you in my prayers!

Lis said...

Congratulations!!!

Maven Linda said...

I've been gone all day or I'd have already added my congratulations. I can't tell you how proud and happy I am. I'm bringing the champagne on Saturday!

Kathy said...

Mumba line! Jack's been giving me too much rum. Yes, it's a combination of rumba, mambo and conga. Whatever it is, it's jolly good fun and Jack's hands have been on my hips, SP, not yours! Too many teeter-totters are making you daft. :-D

What say you? Shall we let Kira have the place of honor at Jack's side? Shall we flip for it? Nahhhhh! They'll be no sharin' here. For all you darlin's know, SP and I be Jack's special friends. Savvy? Yet, this be such a joyous day of celebration, RUM, teeter-totters, and playing on the teeter-totter too, that I'd swear Kira has outwitted us. For that be her with Jack now whilst we've been hagglin' about. Quick! Make chase! Jack's pulled out his compass! I fear Kira's won the race.

Kathy

Caffey said...

Huge congrats!!!!!!!!!! Looking forward to reading it! When you have the release date, I'll be putting it on my calendar!

Instigator said...

Thank you, everyone, for sharing this day with me! It makes it so much sweeter knowing I have friends to enjoy this moment with me!

Instigator

Playground Monitor said...

It has been brought to my attention that I haven't commented today. Well... I've been keeping a certain reprobate pirate captain from causing havoc around here. So gimme a break. :grin:

I've squee'd and yahoo'd and jumped up and down and told Kira how excited and proud I am of her. We've decided she's the sacrificial lamb who can test out the waters of publication and make it easy for the rest. Aren't we nice to give her that honor? ;-)

This has been a special week for sure.

PM

catslady said...

Big congratulations!!

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing your day with us, Instigator! And thanks for the great party, playfriends. It's been great fun!


Kathy

Leeanne Kenedy said...

keep on living the dream, kira! You deserve it!! I said it already, but I'll say it again--CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leeanne

Sabe said...

Well, it's two minutes till midnight -- you might know I'd be the last to post. I already extended my congrats in person, but I wanted to add them to this page. I'm tickled pink that Brenda Chin was smart enough to recognize your talent, Kira. She couldn't have called a nicer girl. Can't wait to give you a big, happy hug on Saturday.
Love,
Sabe

KimW said...

Woohoo!! A big congratulations! I'm so happy for you.