Saturday, October 17, 2009

The CALL with new Romance author, Nikki Logan!



On our Wild Card Weekend feature this week, we give a big welcome to newcomer Nikki Logan who has her debut with Harlequin Romance coming up in the New Year! Welcome Nikki!


My call story is in fact a series of emails escalating to ‘the’ call.

Email 1: an email from the competition coordinator for RWNZ ‘Great Beginnings’ to say that my first ever category romance had finalled (I’d been a Single Title girl until then). Great news but no time to celebrate because I was leaving for RWAus national conference.

Email 2: a second email a few weeks later to say it had won first place and Kimberley Young (HMB London) had requested a full.


Email 3: An email from Kimberley Young in the e-flesh hoping to catch up by phone to discuss some revision suggestions on the comp story. Eeek…revisions! Eeek… a phone-call! Maddeningly, our schedules weren’t compatible and in the days it took to get our planetary diaries aligned (and while I suffered death by a thousand impatient cuts) Kim also requested my most recent MS. I’d written this in the Australian equivalent of NaNoWriMo (50K in 30 Days) and then put it away to settle.


Email 4: When the revisions came, my comp-win manuscript was out and my newer story was resoundingly in. I was away on mini-conference so I hit the keyboard every night after work to get them done quickly. Kim had asked me how soon I could get them to her and I panicked. Four weeks might be too long and two weeks might have her chuckling to herself and thinking ‘how sweet, she thinks she can do it in two’. I suggested three.


Email 5: A few days after submitting the revisions, Kim emailed to ask if she could call with some follow-up questions. I interpreted that as editor-speak for ‘Gosh, I’ve made a terrible mistake and need to let you down gently.’ All day went by with me angsting over how embarrassing to be gently let down and how many people I’d have to un-tell my exciting news to until the phone finally rang early in the evening.


The Call: Kim must have heard the high-pitched whine from my finely tuned nerves because she got straight down to business and said she was delighted with the revisions and wanted to offer me a two-book deal. At which point I was certain I’d misheard (she wants to give me a ‘blue-hooked eel’??) and I had to ask her to repeat herself *blush*.


Then there was the oddest squealing noise on the line (oh, how embarrassing, it was me!) and we talked about things that I have very little recollection of and I tried desperately to sound intelligent whilst my brain collapsed in on itself. In the middle of all this, my DH came home from walking the dogs. I mimed ‘two book deal’ and he nodded, picked up his keys and left the house. I blinked but didn’t care. In fact I didn’t care about a lot of things that week. That month. That call was a good, good thing.

I rang my mum next. There is nothing—nothing—that beats the sound of your mother crying with pride. Then my crit group. They were primed and infinitely more optimistic than I, and were all hovering near their computers awaiting the news, for better or worse. Crit partners are good like that.

Then, God love him, my DH came home with takeout and a good bottle of sparkling white wine to celebrate. Looks like he’s learned to speak fluent hysterical-mute some time in our years together!


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In a nice piece of serendipity, this blog falls on the one-year anniversary of the date I subbed my hastily polished category novel to Kim in response to the question ‘do you have something else I can see?’ That book is my debut release “Lights, Camera…Kiss the Boss” (Feb 2010)

The past twelve months have been the most amazing adventure. I’ve stumbled from the safe, supportive, familiar pond of the ‘yet-to-be-published’ into the mysterious, open ocean of the ‘published’. I’ve learned about tax, I’ve learned about international bank accounts, I’ve learned about deadlines. Boy, I’ve learned so much about deadlines. I’m starting to learn about the peculiarities of the publishing industry and about the author industry but I know I’ve only scratched the surface.

The writing satisfies me but the challenge motivates me. The opportunity to learn something new from the ground up. To build a new career. To write what I love for a living.

A few years back, I promised myself I’d be published by my fortieth birthday. Well, I didn’t have a book on a shelf, but I received a phone-call from my editor just two days before the big four-o offering me a three-book contract and taking my total Harlequin sales to six. And the new, positive me is calling that close enough.


Nikki Logan’s “Lights, Camera…Kiss the Boss” debuts for
Harlequin Romance in February 2010.

You can read an excerpt at:
www.nikkilogan.com.au – A Romance with Nature.

18 comments:

  1. Ah... I LOVE a call story.
    Congrats Nikki! I can't wait to read it!

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  2. Thanks Bec! I love being able to tell one - LOL.

    Thanks Donna & the girls for having me over to play :)

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  3. LOL Nikki love your call story, it was a nail biting time! Huge congrats on your upcoming release - on all of them! Can't wait to read them!

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  4. Oh that was great, Nikki and if your book is as much fun as reading about your call, it's going to be a hit.

    Many congratulations on your contract and a big welcome to the wonderful world of Harlequin "Romance".

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  5. Loved your call story, Nikki. Can't wait to read your book/s.

    Congratulations!

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  6. I love call stories! Congratulations - can't wait to read it!

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  7. Hey Nikki - I loved reading your call story - congrats! Can't wait to read your books :)

    BTW - loved the line about your hubby being fluent in hysterical mute - LOL :)

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  8. Hey Nikki, reading this blog post is bringing back memories.... and soon we will be seeing your books hit the shelves. Congratulations - I can't wait to start rearranging shelves ;))

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  9. Nikki, your call story is as exciting now as it was watching it unfold at the time. I am *so* looking forward to walking into the shop, seeing 'Lights, Camera...Kiss the Boss' on the shelves, and buying my very own copy!

    Looking forward to many years of reading your books. :)

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  10. Congratulations Nikki! That's a lovely call story. I'm sure you're still celebrating and you're lucky to have Kimberley - she's fantastic!

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  11. What Liz said. Your call story sparkles, and I can't wait to read "Lights, Camera ... Kiss the Boss".

    Congratulations on your new contract and all the best.

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  12. Thanks for being here Nikki - we're all so thrilled for you!

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  13. Hi everyone! Sorry, life got unexpectedly in the way yesterday and I've missed you all passing through.

    Thanks to Christina, Rachel & Eleni for keeping the excitement going. Yes, they were all around at the time as it was unfolding live in technicolour.

    Michelle, Liz & Donna, thanks so much for the warm welcome. Sarah - couldn't agree more. Kim really knows her stuff. Every day is a learning curve for me.

    Sue, Nell & Joanne - I'll race you to the shelves. Am just dying to see what cover they give me.

    Thanks all! See you soon.

    *Nikki*

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  14. What a fab call story, Nikki! Thanks for sharing. (And what a hero your DH is.) Congrats!

    BTW, you also have some more fab "first" moments coming up. The first copy you hold. Seeing your first copy on the shelf (make sure you take a pic!!). The first email you get from someone you don't know because she read your book and loved it... Enjoy. You worked hard and deserve it.

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  15. Ahhh Nikki, your call story was wonderful.. And so beautifully written (heart-warming, funny, exciting, etc) I'm thinking your book's going to be a corker.

    Can't wait to read it..

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  16. Nikki - I loved hearing your call story. And what a great hubby. I was also 40 the year I sold - and life certainly changed. So looking forward to seeing your books on the shelf and taking it to the counter to say I know her. :o)

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  17. Congratulations, Nikki, great story!
    Best wishes
    Carol

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