Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Call

It was a Wednesday morning and I was sitting at my computer when the phone rang. I grumbled to myself and got up to answer it, quite sure it was another attempt to sell me something. Caller ID said Harlequin Enterprises. Not an attempt to sell me something. I immediately went into shock. Six days before, my full manuscript had arrived at their office. And no one at Harlequin has time to call to personally reject you. Somehow I managed to answer the phone before voicemail beat me to it.

It was Tina James, Senior Editor for the Love Inspired Historical line and she sounded excited. She said wonderful things about my African missionary romance and offered me a contract. I did think clearly enough to write down the details of what she was telling me and told her I would get back with her no later than Friday.

I spent the rest of the day in a complete daze. I know that I was supposed to shout, cry, and dance, but instead I just felt like I needed to go lie down.

I was just that overwhelmed.

I called my husband. I called my critique partner. I called family and friends. I Facebooked it. And still it just didn’t seem real. Six days? Really?

Oh, and it was coming out in November of 2011. Yes, this year. That fast. Can you see why I felt the need to lie down?

After a good night’s sleep I got up with this little grin on my face. I’d moved from shock to happy, happy land. I kept the grin for the next four days while I acquired an agent, formalized contract details, took notes on some minor revisions needed, and moved into high gear about getting a website up and running.

Since then I’ve completed revisions, written a bio, a dedication, a Dear Reader letter, and twelve discussion questions. I’ve almost finished my Art Fact Sheet for the cover, and am about to tackle writing the content for the new website. There’s still the new Facebook page, the retailer bio, planning promotions, and finishing the rest of the research for book two.

I feel like I grabbed the shirttail of a whirlwind and got sucked up into the ride.

Fun ride.

I hear the next big thrill comes when I get my author copies. I can’t wait to see them.

The Doctor’s Mission releases November 2011. Here’s a short blurb:

William Mayweather is a dedicated missionary determined to reach the remote Kru and Pahn tribal groups in 1918 Liberia, Africa. William is following in the footsteps of the beloved uncle who raised him, a man who was martyred at the hands of a hostile Pahn tribe. William never expected his initial efforts would cost the life of his young wife to malaria. He returns to the mission field after a mandatory compassionate leave, but this time he’s adamant his mission will not involve putting any of the fairer sex in harm’s way.
Mary O’Hara is an unconventional woman who defies expectations for women in the 1900’s. She makes a bold choice by responding to the Red Cross efforts recruiting female physicians for the WWI troops in France. Only it’s a choice that ends in heartache when her brother dies on her operating table at the battle of Argonne, and she’s disowned by her grieving family. Wanting to atone for her brother’s death, Mary answers a recruiting call from the Liberian Mission Board in post-Armistice France. She’s prepared to go head-to-head with the handsome, opinionated missionary to achieve her goal. But is she prepared to have feelings for the handsome pastor, who wants nothing more than for her to leave the dangerous jungle interior?

Have you ever gotten “The Call” or something like it? Maybe you won a contest, were elected to something you really wanted, or were chosen for some honor? What was that special moment for you?


Callie James said...

Funny story! I suspect I would need to take a nap as well. It must be shocking.

You never told us ... who is your agent now?

Lexi said...

I was on my way to the doctor's office when I got The Call. I fell off my shoe this past February and broke my foot in two places.

It's a talent.

At any rate, a friend was driving me and my casted foot to the orthopedist for a check-up when my cell phone rang. It was an out-of-state number I did not recognize. Almost didn't answer it because I thought it was a wrong number or someone wanting to do a survey.

It was the editor from Kensington, calling to offer me a contract. Good thing I WASN'T driving. I'd have wrapped around a telephone pole!

M.V.Freeman said...

LOL! LOVE these types of stories.

I haven't gotten "The Call" yet but I continue to work toward it.

(Lexi--you made me laugh--broken foot and book contract!)

For me--it was the contest judge who said, "I just want to keep reading this story.." THAT made my day. :)

Carla Swafford said...

That was so cool! I could see me needing to stretch out before I faint.

I'm so looking forward to that call. If not faint, I'll probably start blubbering. :-)


Louisa Cornell said...

What a great story Debbie! I am so excited for you and I can't wait to read your book! I think I would probably be a bit stunned as well! That is definitely a quick turnaround on a manuscript!

I remember when you got your call, Lexi. It was definitely a wild 24 hours, broken foot and all.

Anytime a contest judge says they want to keep reading it is a GREAT DAY ! Congrats on that one!

Carla, like you I am looking forward to either hitting the floor or babbling like an idiot when I get that call.

When I got my first Golden Heart finalist call I actually asked "Could you please repeat that?" Then I tried to sit down on the bed and missed.

Cyndi Tefft said...

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story. :)