To be honest, I can barely remember either the day or the Call. I was seven months pregnant, exhausted, huge, and very busy. I was trying to finish a new writing project in time to enter the 2007 Golden Heart. I was traveling for three weekends back-to-back. I was trying to take good care of my husband and our energetic 18-month-old when all I really wanted to do was nap on the couch with a pint of Chunky Monkey.
When I saw my agent's number on Caller ID, I thought she was calling to discuss the partial I’d just sent her of my second Presents-targeted novel, The Spaniard’s Stolen Bride (later titled The Spaniard’s Defiant Virgin). But no. She had different news: I’d been offered a two-book contract with Harlequin Presents. Did I wish to accept the offer?
She said it so casually it took several minutes before I understood what she’d said. I remember feeling faint. I remember hoarsely gasping “Yes.” Afterward, I remember screaming and dancing around with my confused toddler who didn’t understand the fuss, but was willing to dance and laugh along with me anyway. I kissed my husband. I whispered the words aloud over and over, words I dreamed of saying for my whole life, trying to make myself believe what had just happened. “I sold a book.”
But the truth is, it didn’t really sink in. Not until yesterday.
At the grocery store, wearing a t-shirt and old jeans with my unwashed hair yanked back in a ponytail, I was pushing the shopping cart and scanning the shelves for something I could make for dinner. My 11-month-old baby was whining his boredom as my toddler raced up and down the aisles begging for candy. And then…I stopped short.
I saw my debut book, The Greek Billionaire’s Baby Revenge, on the shelves of my own grocery store.
How long had I bought romance novels here? How long had I dreamed of someday seeing my own book with the others on the shelf?
In that moment, all my seven long years of rejection and failure and heartache were forgotten. It was all worth it. And I nearly burst into tears.
This was really the moment I realized I was a published author. And unlike my dazed memory of the Call, I'll remember that grocery store aisle for the rest of my life. The moment it finally sank in: my dream had come true.
Do you have any Call fantasies? Where do you most dream of seeing your own book someday?
P.S. BTW, to see my diet tips about how I lost that Chunky Monkey weight (nearly 70 post-baby pounds since last Christmas) see here.
P.P.S. You can also read an excerpt of The Greek Billionaire’s Baby Revenge and enter to win a Jane Porter book here.