Friday, October 24, 2008

It's all in the timing...

My experience is a little bit different than my fellow Girls.

See... I knew to the day when I would get THE CALL.
I just didn’t know if it would be the GOOD CALL or the BAD CALL.

Something which, in itself, can be pretty wrecking in the days leading up to...

You see, WONDROUS STRANGE was written on proposal, specifically for one particular editor at Harper Collins. I had the idea, my agent pitched it to my (now) editor and, at her request, I wrote the first five chapters and a plot synopsis. We sold the project based on that in a two-book deal. And, yes, that is still to this day something I have a hard time wrapping my brain around (in a giddy, pinch-me sort of way).

The upshot of this is that, as I said, I knew the day that my book would go to the Acquisitions Meeting, I just didn’t know the hour. Or the answer.

Neither did my mom, with whom I’d had a phone conversation the night before. Now, Mom lives on the West Coast. I live in the East. Mom was traveling out early the next day for a wedding and would be gone for the entire weekend. She figured I wouldn’t know until the end of the day whether or not I was going to be made an offer. I didn’t think I would either. Mom admonished me not to try and track her down over the weekend – she didn’t want to know what the verdict was until she got back home on Monday (just in case the verdict was “no”!) and so I would have to wait until then to call her! That was going to be agony for me – whatever the case! And Mom would have to spend the whole weekend on tenterhooks.

Well... apparently the early bird gets the novel in New York and my agent called me just after 11:00am to give me the good word. All the good words. The best words I’ve ever heard, in fact.

Thankfully, the office where I work was almost empty that day and I only had the opportunity to inflict myself on one poor astonished co-worker, whom I hugged and squealed at and danced a ridiculous jig for.

I called my boyfriend who told me he never doubted it for a second.

Then I called my mom. She was still at home.
In fact, because of the time difference, I kinda woke her up.
I said (grinning): “They bought it.”
She said (groggy): “That’s not funny.”

She honestly thought I was crank calling her. I love that. Of course, when I finally convinced her that I was, in fact, on the level, she was ecstatic. And then... she got to go to a lovely wedding, and drink champagne, and tell all my relatives that little Lesley was about to become a published author. Pretty good timing, if you ask me.


Steph said...

That's a great story, Lesley! I can't imagine the joy that must come with knowing that hell, you beat out all the odds, landed a great deal, and your dream's coming true!

And now I get to see the (semi) final product tomorrow in all its Canadian glory :P


Jillian Cantor said...

Lesley, That's really awesome that you sold two books on a proposal and five chapters!! I'm so excited to read it :-).

Tracy Madison said...

I LOVE that your mom thought you were crank calling her. What a great story! I can't wait to read this book. Congrats again, Lesley!

Maureen Lipinski said...

I SO cannot wait to read your book! And man, what pressure that must've been--to sell on a proposal alone!

I usually am only able to get through my books because I convince myself that "I never have to show anyone this if it turns out to be total crap."