Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Writer's Wednesday - THE CALL with LIZ TALLEY
Pst! Let me tell you a secret – one that is familiar to every writer, actor, or singer. It’s the secret desire that lurks in the bottom of the heart. The one you nurture in the wee hours of the morning, playing out over and over in your mind. It’s “the call” fantasy. You remember it, right? In fact, you’ve probably traded it for the Rita acceptance speech. Here’s how I envisioned my call playing out:
Sounded like a good story to me. I could even see myself telling it (as I stood on the stage accepting my Rita). Everyone would chuckle and think how clever I was . .and how good I look in my gown after losing another ten pounds.
But it didn’t go quite like that.
It went more like this.
I had been out all morning running errands with my husband. We’d unloaded a huge bag of dog food and I stepped in to heat up our lunch. So I popped the leftovers in the microwave and spun around to check caller id. First number up, my mom. No surprise there. Next number, Harlequin Enterprises. My stomach hit my knees. No kidding. I thought I might vomit.
I set the phone back down on the receiver and said, “huh.”
My husband, walking into the kitchen, said, “What’s wrong?”
I said, “Nothing.”
He said, “Good, then let’s eat.”
I said, “It’s in the microwave. I’ve got to check something in my office.”
So I calmly walked to the back of the house, holding the phone. I had the number on ID, but I hadn’t listened to the message yet. I pushed the dial button and waited to hear the message. Instead a voice said, “Harlequin Enterprises.” I panicked and hung up.
Shaking, I made it to my desk and sunk into my chair. I dialed the voicemail and tried to look nonchalant, like I called publishers every day. The message was from Wanda Ottewell. She wanted me to call her. Okay. Call her. So I managed to dial the number and tell the receptionist who I’d just hung up on that I needed to be connected to Wanda’s extension. And then I said a prayer. Please, Lord, don’t let her tell me she liked the revisions, but they just wouldn’t work. Please. Wanda said hello before I could get any further on the prayer. We exchanged pleasantries and I prepared myself for the worst. Instead she said, “Amy, I’m right in the middle of something. Do you mind if I call you back in about 30-45 minutes?”
I gulped. “Sure.”
Then I hung up and stared at the phone. My husband appeared at the door. “You gonna come eat?”
“Hey,” he said, “Who was that on the phone?”
“Um, Wanda Ottewell.”
He grinned. “Is she going to buy your book?”
“I don’t know,” I said, trying to rise on shaking legs.
“You don’t look so good,” he said. “Why are you shaking?”
I shrugged. “I’m nervous, I guess.”
So forty three minutes, four trips to the bathroom, and one xanax later, the phone rang. I picked it up and looked at my husband. He nodded.
More pleasantries and then finally….”Well, Amy, I liked your revisions. You did a good job with that, and I want you to know I want to make an offer for this book.”
“Great,” I said.
I rose, closed the door in my husband’s face, and got out a pen and paper. She told me what she wanted, how everything would go down and what I needed to know. Mid-way through the particulars, Wanda stopped and said, “You’re really very calm about this.”
I said, “I’m medicated. I had to take a Xanax.”
She laughed…and laughed….and finally, I laughed too.
Because I’d done it. Finally. I’d done it. After I got off the phone, I climbed into my husband’s lap and cried. “I did it. I sold it.”
He patted my back. “That’s great, honey. How much money are you getting?’
And then, through my tears, I laughed some more.
Vegas Two Step, Liz's Debut with Superromance, hits the shelves in June 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!