The Day I Got "The Call"  

Posted by Heidi in

When I started this blog, the ticker at the top of the page said 7 months (and so forth) until my book, Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind, comes out. It has been down to 6 months (and some weeks and days) for nearly a week, now, so clearly it is time to readdress the subject. So, here goes. Ahem! January 23, 2008 was the day I got “the call”, the day I found out that Avalon Books wanted to publish my book, and I was sick. With a virus. Again. In fact, I had a horrible sinus infection. My entire system was clogged up with all sorts of phlegm hanging out in my head, sinuses, ears, throat, not to mention my nose. In fact, a few days later would be “the day” (not to be confused with “the call”) I went through 3 boxes of Kleenex in a 24 hour period. My husband, who has a much better math brain than I, figured I needed to blow my nose every two minutes to use that much tissue. Considering I was asleep, off and on, for about a third of that time meant there were moments when the nose-blowing rate was much higher. I suppose that would be mostly because each and every blow was at least a two tissue job.

These were sad days indeed, but they were very much brightened by the news that I had sold my book. (Except for that awful 24 hours--even the achievement of a 30-some-odd-year desire wasn’t enough to banish my gloom.) The newsworthy point of this story, the part that someone other than myself might find interesting (though, there is a lot of wishful thinking in that statement, I must admit) was my state of total goofiness when the call finally came.

Imagine, if you will, a woman whose goal to have a published novel has been beating solidly in her heart since she was seven years old. A woman who knows that this is really the one and only chance for this particular “baby” of hers to come to light without producing numerous copies of it on her printer and posting it off to many unsuspecting victims, giving the term “vanity printing” a whole new meaning. A woman who has been waiting for “the call” for nearly eight months after having sent in a requested revised version of her story (the operative word here being “requested”). A woman who is anxious to make a good impression on “her editor” but who currently has the voice of a longshoreman after a long night of drinking tequila out of a boot while standing on a dock in the pouring rain--while chain smoking.

Now, ordinarily, I don’t do any of those things. In fact, I have never done any of those things. It’s just that this awful sinus infection made me sound like, well, like I said. The funny thing is, just a few days previous, I was chatting with my good friend Shirley Marks (who has received four of these wonderful phone calls from Avalon Books) about how anxious I was getting and how I would really love to know if and when I was ever going to have my book published. That’s when she said “Don’t worry, ‘the call’ will come when you least suspect it”.

Now, I really couldn’t see how that could possibly be true. I had been expecting this call for a long time. I thought about it pretty much constantly—there was no way I was going to stop thinking about it, hoping for it, for even a split second. But, sure enough, when I picked up the phone that morning and croaked, “Hel . . lll . . .ooOOoooww?” the editor at Avalon was the furthest thought from my mind. So, when she said, “Hello, this is Faith Black of Avalon Books,” I was so embarrassed that her first impression of moi had to have been that I was a chain-smoking late night boozer that I blurted out, “I’m sick! That’s why I sound like this!”

Oh, smooth! Here I am talking to an editor, something I have dreamed about doing my entire life, and that’s what I say!?!? So much for coming across as an intelligent, witty, educated person whose books you would wish to buy and publish into perpetuity. The rest of the conversation didn’t go much better and by the time I hung up I was sure she was regretting her decision to put me on the payroll. But, I am happy to say, it was too late for her to make that move and my book will be coming out December 24th, 2008. In spite of me.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 29, 2008 at Thursday, May 29, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 wise, witty and wonderful comments

You sure know how to paint a picture with your words. That's a good sign for an author. Can't wait until the day is finally here even though that means my summer will be over and I will be in the throws of ...Winter! It is a worthwhile sacrifice.

June 3, 2008 at 5:01 PM

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