It's Friday morning, 5th April. I return to my desk at the day job from a coffee run to see an email in my inbox titled 'Harper Impulse submission'.
My heart starts thumping wildly. It's only been three weeks since I submitted to Harper Impulse, the brand new imprint from Harper Collins, but I've heard via the grapevine that the editors had an acquisitions meeting...
I'm not too stressed. A sale would be a dream come true, but a rejection won't be the end of the world. If it's a rejection, then I plan to self-publish. I have a freelance editor on standby and a cover already designed.
I may not be anxious, but I can still scarcely breathe as I click open the email. It's two lines only. "Are you free today for a quick call? I'd love to chat further to you about your submission."
I've already had friends go through this, so I know editors don't just call to chat about your work. They call to buy.
I shoot back a reply. "Any time" and my mobile number. And I sit there trying to remember how to breathe.
Then my phone beeps, reminding me the battery is running low. Just that morning I'd decided to let it run itself out before re-charging and its death is imminent. Oops.
I plug in the charger and naturally, for the first time ever, it won't take a charge. I run all over the office, trying all the plug points, swearing, sweating, as the phone refuses to charge. Thank heavens the rest of my team are out and there are no witnesses.
Finally, the screen lights up, the charge indicator starts to move, and I breathe a massive sigh of relief.
Just then the hair & make-up stylist who's doing prep for our next film shoot pops her head in my door, and I can scarcely manage a coherent conversation about aging make-up and contacts and hair extensions. She looks at me funny, so I say "I'm so excited! I'm about to get The Call!" Then I have to explain what The Call is.
As soon as the stylist leaves, I email the Minxes, because they're my soul sisters and they know exactly what The Call means. And because I don't want to be alone in this.
Then I make a toilet run, get pen and paper ready, make a list of points to discuss with the editor in case my brain stops working, get a glass of water ready, and ask the kitchen to keep me lunch. I don't plan to leave the desk where my phone is now plugged in and charging until that call comes in.
Time ceases to have meaning, but I think it's about 12:15 when the phone rings.
Thank heavens for that list! I manage to have a sane and sensible conversation with the editor, even though my brain stops working after she utters the words "we'd like to offer you a two book deal."
Since the phone is still plugged into the charger, I spend the entire
phone call bent down with my head practically between my knees. Which
is probably a good position to be in when you take a call of this
We talk royalties and contracts and covers, what the imprint is about, estimated release dates, and changes to the opening scene. We even talk about writing conferences and the editor's holiday on the South African coast. (Now that I'm typing up this story, I'm amazed I remember so much of the conversation!)
I even manage to mention the fact that Waking up in Vegas is in fact the first in a series of three. Three rings, three stories. Read the book when it goes on sale and you'll know what I mean.
When we hang up, I literally stand up and dance. And there may have been an air punch. Again, I'm truly grateful it's a quiet day at the office and I'm alone.
The rest of the afternoon was, needless to say, a write-off. It's hard to focus on everyday day job type stuff when you're floating a few feet off the ground.
So that's my Call Story. There's a great deal more that's happened since, but that'll have to wait for another blog post. Because I'm going off to dance some more.