Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pigs Do Fly

You all have no idea how long I've waited to write this post. How many times I imagined how The Call would go. How I would react. Who I'd call. And yet, in my wildest imaginings, it never went down anything like last Tuesday.

We will start with some backstory. I'd been working closely with Shana Smith at Harlequin Desire. I'd gotten good feedback. Things were going well despite the first book not working out and having to start over. But I was so close. Agonizingly close. But I wouldn't let myself believe it until I heard the words. I dream big, but I'm not one to get my hopes up and be disappointed. At the same time, I was doing everything in my power to seal the deal. I wrote a new book from scratch in 3 weeks. I revised it in a week. I wanted to do everything I could to sell before conference.

After I finished revisions, I mailed the book, nauseated. Maybe I hadn't spent enough time on it. What if I'd worked too fast and blew it? Either way it was too late. I started work on another book and worried about my upcoming vacation. DB's niece was graduating high school and his brother was retiring from the Navy after 25 years. We were flying to Baltimore for a few days with his parents. I figured it would be a while since Shana had to read it, the senior editor had to read it and whatever magical editorial mojo had to happen. The office was closing for a couple holidays. No big deal. I tried to forget it was even out there and headed to the airport with my family.

I was none too pleased to find out that our flight was 4 hours delayed when we reached the gate. We'd arrived early, so I was due for at least 5 hours in the airport with DB and his parents. While gearing up for a game of spider solitaire on my iPhone, a NYC number called. I figured it was a telemarketer. I'd gotten a lot of those calls lately. But what else did I have to do? So I answered. Not once did it register until I heard the woman introduce herself as Shana Smith. Not really even then. I figured she was calling about her guest blog or something. It could possibly be that.

Then she said she had great news and wanted to buy my book. This was the point in time where the universe slowed to a crawl. I was stunned. I didn't know what to say or do. I was dumbstruck. I couldn't yell or cry. Not only was it not cool, I was in an airport terminal and didn't want security called on me. I think my first words were "oh my god, I'm in the airport." That was followed by a lot of 'wow' and 'that's great' while she talked about contracts and revisions. I think she knew not to say too much given I was reduced to muttering those two phrases over and over. I wrote things down on the back of my boarding pass so I wouldn't forget. I tried to think of intelligent questions and failed. I was a spacey mess. But the message came across - my first book was tentatively scheduled for spring 2012.

After about 10 minutes, I hung up and turned to DB. He smiled and hugged me, having heard my stupid rambling and knew what had happened. I sat back in my chair for a good 15 minutes. I knew I needed to tell people but I wasn't ready yet. I needed to come to terms. It just didn't seem real. Finally I told my inlaws, who were very pleased for me, but really didn't understand what a big deal it was. So I called my Mom and cried. Then I called each of the Playfriends and squeed. I had to leave a message for PM because she was at the doctor. Then I called the Mavens and a couple others. I ended up sitting on the floor in the airport near an outlet so I could charge my phone while continuing to call everyone who had supported me and kept me writing when I wanted to stop. They deserved to hear right away. Then I texted a slew of people. Posted it on Twitter and Facebook, and went back to waiting for my flight.

Of course, my call story had to be weird! It all went down in an airport. I couldn't leave, couldn't fully celebrate. I was in a damn airport. The bottle of champagne I've neurotically kept on hand for just this occasion was in my fridge at home. And I'm at the airport. Then I was in Baltimore, with more family celebrating other people's big life events. Family I love, but still people who don't get it, really. No Playfriends or HOD people to dance around and squeal with. I was trapped in a LaQuinta Inn with nothing but my iPhone to connect me to the people that understand.

But now, now I am home! And I'm ready to celebrate with my peeps. Grab some cyber champagne and a cupcake! I've sold my first book! Check the news because pigs are flying around the world this week.



SP



PS. The picture at the bottom is me in my "sale" shirt. I bought it 3 years ago at a RWA conference and put it in the closet. I hadn't even let myself try it on in all that time. On Tuesday, I pulled it out of the closet and wore it. It fit, thank goodness! :)



PSS. Kira is blogging over at the Blaze Author's blog today. Pop on over and say hi.

42 comments:

scarlet wilson said...

THE CALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More! More information!!
Are you writing under your own name? What will your title be called??
Have you climbed down from the ceiling yet!
Huge congratulations on your fabulous news xx

Cheryl said...

Yay!!!!!!!!!Sqeeeeeee!!!! We are SO proud of you!!!!! How wonderful! But then I always knew you would do it! Congratulations!!! When will it be out? I do so love telling the person at the checkout that I know this author! I am very, very happy for you!!!

Maven Linda said...

Break out the bubbly! Especially because I was afraid I wouldn't get to post this morning. Blogger said it didn't recognize me. Then it decided it did.

A round of teeter-totters for everyone! I'm buyin'.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

Yay!!!!!!! So happy for you. And yes, I would expect your call story to be different, but it was terrible that you were OUT OF TOWN. So, we'll celebrate today. :-) -- LJ

Christine said...

Congratulations on your great news! Way to go!!

Jean Hovey said...

The BEST news! Truly the light at the end of a bad, sad tunnel.

Smarty Pants said...

Thanks, guys. I am going to write under my own name - Andrea Laurence. I've switched everything over and created a fan page on Facebook under that name.

As for the book, it's a Harlequin Desire, but I probably won't have a title until this fall. Right now, they're looking at April 2012 for a release, but I don't know for sure. I think it depends on how quickly (and well) I do my revisions and get them back.

This really was some great news after a couple really horrible months. One of my regrets is that I didn't get to call Beverly that day. She sold her first book to Desire, too. The last time I saw her at our HOD meeting I told her what was going on and she was very excited for me.

Blast! No crying, it's a party. Teeter totter, please!

Debra Glass said...

Cheers! Congratulations, Andrea. What a wonderful call story.

Playground Monitor said...

I will never forget the message you left on my answering machine. "Marriillyynn. I tried your cell phone and you didn't answer. So I tried this phone and you're not home. So I'm gonna have to leave this on your answering machine (might have been a dammit at this point). I sold my first book to Desire." You sounded so pitiful. If I'd known you'd be in the airport so long, I'd have come over and we could have had a mini-celebration in the lobby.

But SQUEEEEE! You sold! And like Cheryl I can't wait to tell the cashier I know the author.

Angel said...

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Its finally here and we can celebrate! I'll have some Ghirardelli chocolate muffins (hey, muffins are breakfast food!) and a teeter totter in your honor.

I love this book and can't wait to see it on the shelves! Oh my, I get to add to my Playground book collection. :)

How do you think it will feel to wear that pink First Sale ribbon in New York?!?!

Angel

Vicki said...

That big ol' smile on your face while wearing the Priceless shirt says it all!!! This proves that even in tough times, great things happen. YAY, ANDREA! Duck, everybody, because the pigs are airborne!

LeaAnnS said...

Soooo happy for you, Andrea! Hard work pays off. May this be the start of a long and hectic (because you have so many books to write!) career!

Cheers!

Grace Burrowes said...

Wallow in it, baby! Strut and spike the ball, do the dance, rule the world, and then get to work on the next book. This is the start of something wonderful, and I can't thump you on the back hard enough. You did it, you hung in there, you persisted, you dreamed, and.... you wrote a book. Write more books, and the dream gets even bigger.

Smarty Pants said...

Pink ribbons! I tell you, since I can't have a book in my hand right away, its things like the pink First Sale ribbons at conference that I cling to with excitement.

I'm planning my whole wardrobe so it doesn't clash with the pink. Of course, I'll also be getting the speaker ribbon and the volunteer ribbon, which I think are bright orange or something awful.

Right now, I'm doing revisions, then yes, onto the next book. I have a couple I can go with, so when I have lunch with my editor in NY (I love that I can say that) I will see where we go from here. :)

Instigator said...

SQUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
I'm so happy for you, SP. I know how hard you've worked for this. You busted your ass to get this book done and in and you deserve every moment of celebration! You will never forget the feeling of selling your first book. And you shouldn't!

Instigator

Problem Child said...

I'm wearing my matching shirt today in your honor.

SQUEEEE!!! So happy for you!

Stephanie Jones said...

Sooo GRRRRRRRREAT!!

Your call story made me cry a little!
Thanks for letting us celebrate with you!

I am so proud and excited for you.

You are going to look fabulous in that Pink first sale ribbon!
The party is definitely on for NYC!

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Congratulations! I'm happy for you, that all the hard work paid off...as it should.

Rhonda Nelson said...

SQUEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the BEST book and I am so, so very happy for you! Can't wait for you to autograph one for me. :-)

RedPeril said...

Congratulations, Andrea!

I know it's been a long time on coming for you, and a hard-fought road. I haven't experienced your written voice, but if it's anything like your physical voice, I look forward to getting my hands on your book! :)

Thank you for sharing your joy! It's been hugely encouraging to many. ^_^

~Angela Blount

Angel said...

Break out the cabana boys! I'm ready for a massage.

Angel

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Oh how I love call stories! Congrats again, Andrea. And I have a shirt very similar to that. Great feeling getting to wear it, isn't it?

Shana Smith said...

We're happy to have you writing for us, Andrea! I love hearing Call stories, and yours is definitely unique. So glad to have been able to make it happen for you! Trust me, everyone--if you enjoy reading her posts here on the blog, you'll love her voice in her book, too. :)

--Andrea's editor

Leanne109 said...

An amazing story for sure! Congrats!!! May all your books be published now in the future :D

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oh I love call stories! And yours made me get all teary, of course! It never happens the way you expect it will. But the feelings are always the same. Stunned and wondering what just happened. No one is cool when their editor calls that first time. And you always, always think they must want something else. *gg*

I'm so happy for you, Andrea!!! I knew you could do it! I haven't read this story, but the ones of yours I've read I thought were fabulous! Your voice is definitely in them, so I can't wait for this book to come out! Yay!!!!

Minna said...

Congratulations!

Pamela Hearon said...

What a Call Story!!! I'm so happy for you, Andrea! And Desire? Who'd athunk after all those paranormal ideas? You're my hero today! Champagne's on me:-)

Julie Miller said...

Mega congratulations, SP!!! How exciting. And it's always good to have an interesting and unique "call" story. Congrats!

Jane said...

Congrats, Andrea.

Smarty Pants said...

Thank you to everyone who has stopped in so far. The last week has just been surreal. It all happens so fast, especially with conference just a few week's away.

Cat Schield, a debut Desire author who's book just came out this month, told me that time will fly. The book will be out before I know it, which means I'e got work to do. :)

robertsonreads said...

Many Congratulations SP!!! I am holding up my champagne (really a cup of tea) and celebrating with you!

There was a reason for your flight delay, you were able to contact all your family and friends.

Never give up on your dreams. We have to have something to help us believe.

Smarty Pants said...

That is true. I went back and looked at the time on my phone. If my flight had been on time, Shana would've gotten my voicemail because my phone would've been off. Could you imagine my panic getting her voice mail when I landed, knowing she was gone for the day and I'd have to wait until the next morning to talk to her? I'd have been a nervous wreck!

J D Elliott said...

YAY!! Congratulations, Andrea! I'm so excited for you and I look forward to reading your book.

I don't have any champagne on hand but I'm toasting you with a diet coke. Cheers and congrats again!

HUGS,
Kellie Clark w/a J D Elliott

Kelley Zeringue / Author Renee Andrews said...

I'm so excited for you!!! Well deserved and OH SO COOL!!! Do we know what month in the spring? How are those revisions coming? SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!

Katherine Bone said...

Way to go, Andrea! What an awesome Call story!

Where's Jack and why is the rum always gone?

Smarty Pants said...

Kelley, right now they're saying April. I've started the revisions but there's a mess of changes up front that will take me a bit to wade through, then I think it will be easier going. It's hard to focus, though! Wanting to drink champagne and dance around and bask in my glory won't get it done. I'll bust out the whip next week when the 'new' wears off. :)

Yvonne Lindsay said...

Welcome to Desire, you will love it!

What a fabulous call story, too. So tough that you couldn't squee and celebrate and douse yourself in champagne at the time, but you have the rest of your career (yes, career!) to do that!

Best wishes and huge congratulations!

Carla Swafford said...

Congratulations, Andrea! I'm very happy for you!

PC's Mom said...

Congratulations Andrea! I love "call" stories and yours is as unique and special as you are.

PM's Mother said...

Congratulations! You are wise to write under your own name. I think it is a classy name. Now if we can get PM off her fanny and back to writing maybe we will have another happy call blog.

Diane Kelly said...

Woo hoo!!! BIG CONGRATS on the sale!

Elle Adair said...

Huge congrats! Looking forward to reading your book.