Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Warning: Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery When Selling Your First Book

(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."

Beep, beep.

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?"

Honestly. Parents.

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.


TinaFerraro said...

Wonderful story, Tera! I smiled my way through your story, enjoying the twists and turns, feeling like I was sharing it with you.

And might I add you have quite a knack for dialogue writing--something I suspect Jenny Bent, your editor and cp already know! :)

I can't wait to read your book. Mega congrats!


Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

Man girl you are an amazing Tina, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the rest of your entry :)

What an awesome story. Love it!

Me said...

The sad thing is... I didn't make any of it up. I wrote every detail down in my diary that night and just copied that for my post.
Go figure.

Marley Gibson said...

I love it, Tera! I especially love Jenny's "Don't be driving!" comment. That's a classic!!!

Whoooooohoooooooo!! I remember when you posted your sale announcement and I was soooo happy for you! Still am! Can't wait to read it.

Marley = )

stephhale said...

It's so fun hearing everyone's sold stories! I can't wait to read your book, Tera. I can't believe you were driving. I definitely would have wrecked!
your agency sistah

Heather Davis said...

What a good reminder that one should pull over before receiving the call! Super cute, Tera.