It’s all Angela James’ fault and I couldn’t be happier. She called to tell me Carina Press wanted to publish my story. I had practiced for this moment for some time, just like practicing a pitch. I’d be calm, listen carefully, ask just the right questions, and give witty answers. All to demonstrate to the publisher they had made a good decision.
Nope, didn’t happen. Tears, I remember tears. Not sobbing ones, jeez I hope she didn’t hear me crying. They were running down my face. When I pulled a tissue out of the box, it went flying out of my hand. And I kept repeating, “This is the call.” (I told myself to get a grip, but that didn’t work.)Nothing else came to mind. Nothing coherent that would even hint that I was anywhere near intelligent. None of those phrases I practiced and practiced. It was an OMG moment.
We said our good–byes, actually, Angela said good –bye I was nodding my head. I hung up and stared at the phone, my heart pounding. That’s when the next brilliant words came out of my mouth. “Published. I’m going to be published.” I said them over and over I think to convince myself. Somewhere I started breathing again and called Paul and the kids.
The last several weeks have been exciting. The smile is still plastered on my face. My Romance Writer chapter mates who didn’t laugh at my very first attempt but boosted me up when I lost faith, gently critiqued my ms encouraged me at every turn celebrated with me with flowers from NJRW, handwritten cards and cupcakes from RWANYC, a many congratulatory emails from FFnP, HTH, and RWAOL.
I met Angela last Saturday at the Liberty States Fiction Writers conference, another great writer's group. I’m not certain I was any more coherent but I was finally able to express my feelings. After all the hard work writing, rewriting, editing, the ten minute pitches, the queries, and the rejections, Angela’s call was validation that my work was worthy. Pride replaced the edgy excitement. I’m proud of my story, my accomplishment, my many friends, and to be a Carina Press author.
At Saturday’s conference luncheon, Gail Freeman, the LSF Writer’s President, spoke about rising stars and first sales and presented me with the beautiful engraved gold star at the top of this post, a tangible validation that sits sparkling on my desk as I write my next story.