So this post isn’t particularly helpful to writers, and also smacks a bit of me loving to hear myself talk (type?), but finding out about my book deal was an AMAZING moment in my life and also a bit funny, so I thought I’d share the story with my lovely followers.
Allow me to set the scene:
It was a Monday. Not just any Monday, but the day my agent set up as the final day for offers on THE WITCH HUNTER’S BIBLE. I’d long ago decided to expect rejections all around so that I wouldn’t be upset if/when that happened. So there I was at work in the NICU,
obsessively checking my email toiling away with nursing duties, when I received an email from my agent, Adriann: Two of the last three editors passed, BUT DON’T WORRY! Because there are other editors, we’d go out to a second list, etc etc.
So I decided I’d just concentrate on charting and not think about it. Yes, that was a good idea. And I did that, quite successfully, I might add, for another whole twenty minutes before I had to check my email again. And what did I find then but an email from Adriann: Can you call me please?
I almost vomited. Like most people in my life that I share a close relationship with, Adriann and I communicate mostly via email. She wanted me to call? This HAD TO BE IMPORTANT.
Great! Except two nurses were on lunch break and the only ones left were me and a nurse named Carol, who was in an isolation room, and so I couldn’t leave the unit to use my phone…
Also great—I forgot my phone at home, and you can’t dial long distance from the hospital phone without explaining yourself to the operator (Somehow I thought ‘I need to call my literary agent in New York’ wouldn’t suffice as an explanation).
Okay, no big deal. I’d just wait until Carol got out of the isolation room and ask to use her cell phone. No need to panic. Except WHAT THE EFF IS SHE DOING IN THERE? IT’S BEEN FIVE MINUTES!!!! COME ON, CAROL, LET THOSE PARENTS HOLD THEIR BABY, ALREADY! NEW BEDDING NOW? REALLY? WELL THAT’S FINE—OH, OKAY, SO YOU’RE GOING TO TALK TO THE PARENTS, HUH? FREAKING CAROL, ALWAYS GOING THE EXTRA MILE…
Okay, so I was panicking. I even resorted to frantic hand gesturing at the window of the isolation room. Alas, she did not see me. But Carol did FINALLY come out. The minute the door swung open I charged on her and breathlessly begged ‘TfhdakfjdhakjfhkfhadskfDo you have a cell phone here and can I use it to call New Yorkndkasfjadkfvnadvnd?’
Bless her heart, Carol said ‘Sure’ without batting an eyelash. Seriously, who doesn’t inquire further at a question like that? (Carol’s made of awesome. I might even pay her back for the long distance charges some day.)
Anyway, so I took Carol’s phone to the Labor and Delivery waiting room and called Adriann. Of course we know she told me Wendy Loggia from Delacorte/Random House wanted to buy my book, and of course I died—it was years of hard work finally paying off—but I was at work and there were people around, so I couldn’t lose it like I wanted to. And dammit, I really wanted to lose it! I blame that bottled up emotion for what happened next.
So I got off the phone with Adriann and went to the bathroom, where I took calming breaths so I wouldn’t cry because I had to go back inside the unit and there were parents in there and I had to be professional. After a few minutes I decided I was okay to go back in.
I entered the unit and gave Carol back her cell phone. She casually asked ‘Everything okay?’ And so of course the logical response to that was to break down crying. Yup. Not pretty crying either, like a few tears of joy. I SOBBED. By that time, Kelly, one of the nurses who’d been on lunch break, was back. So Kelly and Carol exchanged a glance that pretty much said ‘Shit, she’s crying—what should we do?’
Carol gave me an awkward hug. Then Kelly gave me an awkward hug.
But I was still crying.
Kelly and Carol looked at each other and exchanged another glance that said ‘Shit, she’s still crying. What now?’
I took that as my cue to go back to the bathroom and properly collect myself. That is until I called my husband and my sister and broke down again.
So there it is. I LOVE THAT STORY! I hope you did too, and I hope you all get to have a moment like that someday, where you realize your dream has come true (I’ve gone all sappy on you, haven’t I? Go ahead and slap me.)