Thank you very much for inviting me here today, I’m thrilled to be in such esteemed company! Can I also say, I’m eternally grateful you’ve asked about my Call Story and not my workspace! Some things should never be seen either in reality or virtually!
((( The Call )))
It still sends my heart straight into tachycardia just thinking about it!
I never, ever dreamed of becoming an author. It wasn’t a lifelong ambition, or a childhood fantasy. Not because I didn’t value it as a career –but because it was something so out of reach, so ethereal that it wasn’t even on my radar of things I could do. People like me don’t write books. People who write books are clever and imaginative and creative, right?
So, from this new side of the publishing fence I’m still pinching myself!
It started with a creative writing evening class in 2004. From there I spent a lot of spare time with odd sentences or scenarios running through my head, creating worlds, people. Then came conference attendances, inspiring talks from famous authors and eventually the idea of writing a whole book took off. Once I’d started to write I just couldn’t stop.
I submitted a couple of partials to Mills and Boon and received standard rejections, same with the Medical Pitch in March 2010. But things started to change after the Medical Fast track in August 2010. This time I had a rejection with a lot of words. Fantastic! (My hubby thought I’d gone mad! A rejection- and you’re pleased?). They liked my voice but not that story, and suggested I send in something else.
I hurriedly wrote a chapter for the New Voices contest and entered at the last minute. Needless to say I didn’t final, place or even get on the list of possibles. But an editor liked it and asked for a partial…then a full….and then FOUR lots of revisions.
Fast forward…July 2011. I was busy organizing a family holiday in Fiji when I received an email from the editor saying…I just wondered how you felt about giving me a contact phone number in case we wanted to get in touch next week?
OMG!!! I’d heard that editors only rang to make offers and emailed to make rejections…BUT I couldn’t convince myself that this was IT. Still, I gave her my cell phone number and prayed for coverage on the tiny Fijian Island.
So, there I was on Tuesday 26th July at 8.20pm. We were sitting on the beach eating dinner, serenaded by three lovely Fijian ukulele players. My cellphone rang, on the display was a very long number….I knew it was Flo. Seriously, my heart went into overdrive. The line was terrible, but I heard her say ‘we’d love to buy your book and offer you a mumble mumble crackle…’ I couldn’t hear a thing after that, but it didn’t matter, she’d said those magic words. Thank goodness she followed up by email! We followed up with bubbles, obviously!
Louisa’s debut novel, One Month to Become a Mum is available from:
Mills and Boon: http://tiny.cc/bvnd6
Mills and Boon e-book: http://tiny.cc/s5jg3
Kindle (UK): http://tinyurl.com/7pqgdt8
Book Depository: http://tinyurl.com/7ouspll
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