(Disclaimer--there are no injuries involved in this story, thereby disproving the theory that one must break a bone to sell a book.)
Date: 18 July 2006
Time: 5:03 pm ET
Location: Naples, Florida
Here's how it went...
Me: "Mom, I want to talk to you because I don't want to talk to my uber-fabulous critique partner. Because if I talk to her I'll tell her the editor at Dutton loved my book. But I don't want to get our hopes up talking about a potential deal that might fall through. Been there, done that."
Mom: "Um, okay."
Me: "Hold on Mom, I have another call." Look at caller ID. Area code 212. New York. Don't get your hopes up. "I have to go."
Victoria: "Hi Tera, this is Victoria in Jenny Bent's office."
Me: "Oh, hi Victoria." Great, probably just finalizing details about my meeting with Jenny in Atlanta next weel. "How are you?"
Victoria: "I'm good. Do you have a minute for Jenny?"
Internal scream. Don't get your hopes up.
Me: "Yes, of course."
Jenny: "Hi Tera, it's Jenny. Can you guess why I'm calling you?"
Bigger scream. Now I know why my parents hate it when I make them guess things.
Me: "Um," trying not to sound over-hopeful, "because a publisher made an offer on my book."
Jenny: "Dutton wants to buy your book."
Me: "Oh my God."
Jenny: "They want to put it out in hardcover."
Me: "Oh my God."
Jenny: "And they've offered $$$."
Me: "Oh my God!"
Jenny: "Honey, are you okay?"
Me: "Yes, yes. I'm pulling off the road."
Jenny: "You're driving!? Don't be driving!"
I don't remember much else of that conversation. I had pulled over into an apartment parking lot, under a shady tree, just trying to wrap my brain around the idea that what I had been working for three years, completed four manuscripts to do had finally happened. Especially since the week before I had been crying to my Mom and convinced that it would never, ever happen.
After the call, I called my mom back to explain why I had been gone so long.
She, of course, knew I would sell.
Then I called my dad. Only he didn't answer his phone and it wasn't until I'd called five times and sent a "Call Me!" text message that I got through.
Me: "What kind of father are you who doesn't answer his phone when his daughter calls to say her agent sold her book?"
Dad: "Oh. Did she?"
Me: "Why would I say that if she hadn't?"
Next I called my uber-critique partner.
Sharie: "I'm just on my way out the door. Can I call you back?"
Me: "I don't think you want to wait."
But in the end... I think the whole thing was definitely worth the wait.