I’M GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!!!
Holy dark chocolate, batman, does it feel amazing to be able to say that! It’s the phrase I have dreamed of saying a thousand different ways in the last few years, and now that it is here, I can hardly believe that it’s real.
Quick note: If this is a dream, please no one wake me!
In all seriousness, I have been in a fog of giddiness ever since I got the news that one of my top pick publishers had made an offer. It’s not everyday your dreams come true, after all :) Today, proof that no pinching is necessary will come in the form of the Publisher’s Marketplace announcement:
Erin Kelly’s Golden Heart finalist and debut historical, MORE THAN A STRANGER, a Regency-style YOU'VE GOT MAIL, in which the heroine falls for an enigmatic stranger, unaware he is her brother's oldest friend and the same man she shared a childhood correspondence with before he broke her heart, at auction to Kerry Donovan at NAL by Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency (World English)
How official is that?! Publisher’s Marketplace, people! THE place for industry news and deals. As silly as it sounds, I’m totally framing that blurb!
So, for those of you that wanted to know how it all went down, I’ll start with the fact that I had no idea when I turned my last revision into my agent, Deidre, that she would love it and have it turned around on submission to all the major houses in less than a week. Don’t get me wrong—I was really happy with the current version, but I think I had become so mired in the revision process, I just assumed there would be more. Suffice it to say, I was shocked when I got the news that we were ready to submit.
The submission went out the Friday before I left for Nationals, meaning I was a whole ‘nuther level of neurotic once I was there. First the Golden Heart awards to think about, and now the fact my manuscript was actually in the hands of the editors I had only been able to read about and lust after from afar? On top of that, I was trying to keep the whole thing on the down low, though I’m not sure how well I succeeded.
I was, in a word, a wreck.
During the course of the week, I actually met with a few of the editors who where reading my work. I couldn’t believe it—I thought for sure no one would pick it up until after the craziness of Nationals. Yet there they were, quoting from the book and laughing about their favorite scenes. I ain’t gonna lie—it was amazing! These women, who I respected immensely and truly enjoyed meeting, really seemed to see something in me. ME! Little old me from backwater North Carolina, with a science background, no less.
Once conference was over, I came home and began the waiting process. A week later, when Deidre told me one and possibly two of the editors were considering making offers, I nearly came out of my skin. Those few days were the longest of my whole life. What if they changed their minds? What if the powers that be decided I wasn’t right for them? What if they came to their senses and realized I was just a hack?!
Poor Kirk. I think he was relieved when, last Sunday, he had to pack up and head out of town for work. I know I wouldn’t have wanted to live with me as I obsessed about whether or not anything would come of it. And then…
And then The Offer came in. The feelings I had were nearly indescribable—joy, excitement, the overwhelming gratitude to God, to my family, to all the people who had helped me. I also remember an immense feeling of relief, so powerful it was like liquid silver in my veins, slipping and sliding through me, touching every cell in my body.
The absolute worst part was that I couldn’t share the news with anyone. It was TORTURE!! That night, I went to the ATM and got a twenty out, then headed to the local organic farm that also sells homemade ice cream. Handing over my cash for a cone, I asked the girl if she knew who I was. She shook her head, more than a little bewildered at the erratic, flushed customer with the wild eyes and maniacal grin. Knowing that the cash kept me anonymous, I spilled the news. “I’m going to be published!”
She smiled and nodded. “Um, that’s great.”
But it only got better. The next morning, another offer came in. What?! How was it possible that TWO publishers could both want me? Over the next twenty four hours, I waited with my heart in my throat as the two went to auction. The poor dogs—the only witnesses to my craziness—didn’t know what to make of me. It was beyond surreal at this point. I was delirious from not being able to tell anyone, exhausted from lack of sleep, and wound tighter than an eight day clock with anticipation for the outcome.
When at last the dust settled, I ended up with the fabulous Kerry Donovan at NAL (an imprint of Penguin) with a three book deal. I literally jumped for joy, right there in the middle of my day job, whopping like ten year old girl and grinning like a fool. Next to when my husband proposed to me, it was the single greatest moment of my life. That single moment has been followed by a thousand smaller ones, thanks to all the congrats, kind words, and shared celebrations from all of you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
Dreams really do come true, my friends.
(Actual jumping for joy, lol!)
Though we don’t have a release date yet, we are looking at around early spring 2013 for release of the first book. When that day comes, I do hope one of you will be kind enough to bring a scraper to peel me from the ceiling ;)
(PS - I’d take the opportunity to thank all those who helped get me to this point, but I’ll just refer you to last week’s blog instead, lol!)