Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Call Story: Naomi Rawlings

The Pink Heart Society is delighted to welcome Love Inspired Historical Author Naomi Rawlings with her heart warming call story.


Authors wanting to be published often dream of “the call.” As you might image, this is this phone conversation where the editor to whom you’ve submitted one of your books calls you and says, “We want to buy your book.”



As an unpublished author who’d been writing for three years, I was talking to an agent, winning writing contests, and submitting my manuscript to Love Inspired Historical.  I had dreamed of the moment when that editor would call me.



And imagined it.



Replayed it in my mind the way most people replay scenes of their favorite movies.



I’d had conversations in my head with the editor, though I’d never met her. And I had practiced acting calm and controlled on the phone. I wouldn’t scream into the poor editor’s ear, or shout for joy or start crying or do anything else to embarrass myself. Oh no. I was going to be a complete professional (even though I hadn’t the vaguest concept of how a professional author was supposed to behave).



I had told myself that I wouldn’t hear back from the publisher until July or August. After all, a publisher would need at least four months to review the manuscript and decide whether they wanted to buy it. And with that happy news, I left on a little anniversary trip with my husband in early June, while my mom visited for a week and babysat our two kids.



My husband and I returned home early and found an empty house, as my mom had taken the kids to the park. When everyone got home an hour later and we’d exchanged hugs and small talk, my mom goes, “Oh, by the way some editor from New York City called earlier today.”



The world froze at that moment. It must have. I barely remember anything more. In truth, I probably jumped at my mom and nearly strangled her as I demanded every detail of the conversation. “What did the editor say?” “Did she leave a call back number?” “Surely she said more than just to have me call her back!”  “What do you mean their offices close early on Fridays in the summer? How am I supposed to wait all the way until Monday to call her back????”



But alas, the Love Inspired office did close early on Fridays during the summer months, and I had to wait all the way until Monday to talk to the editor. In the meantime, I contacted Natasha Kern, the agent who had offered me representation and was waiting for my response. I sent her a calm, polite, professional email. I believe the subject line said something like “Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”



Natasha confirmed that Love Inspired Historical would only be calling me because they wanted to buy the book. They wouldn’t waste their time calling me with a rejection. So I signed a contract with Natasha, letting her handle the details of the sale to Love Inspired Historical.



Except I still had to call the editor back on Monday morning, and now my brain was whirling with instructions from my agent. “Don’t make any commitments. Absolutely do not say the word “yes” to anything while you’re talking to her. Refer her to me and I’ll handle it.”



And still, in the back of my mind, I was half convinced the editor was calling me for some reason other than to buy my book. So I impatiently waited through the whole weekend until 8:05 Monday morning, when I called the editor. And she said those wonderful, dreamed of words “We want to buy your book.” And I nearly fainted, but it was the first time in my life anyone had called one of my stories a book. I’d never let myself think of my stories as books. They were manuscripts or works in progress, and not to be called books until I’d gotten a publishing contract.



Still trying to act professional (and not shout or scream or cry or faint), I referred the editor to my agent, and the deal was finalized a couple weeks later. 



Now I have an agent and an editor and a real, legitimate, tangible book that coming out in April 2012. Plus I’m writing other manuscripts that my agent can sell to my editor, who can turn those into tangible books.



And somehow I still manage to act profoundly unprofessional most of the time. So much for that dream of being a “professional” writer.

*******

A mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter. Naomi writes bold, dramatic stories containing passionate words and powerful journeys. Her debut novel, Sanctuary for a Lady releases in April of 2012. You can visit her website at www.naomirawlings.com or her blog makinghomeworkblog.blogspot.com




21 comments:

  1. Congrats Naomi on your sale - what a wonderful call story!

    Wishing you all the best with your writing as a "professional writer" :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Huge congratulations Naomi, I love a good call story!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Joanne and Scarlet! Getting that phone call isn't something I'm likely to forget anytime soon. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely call story, Naomi! Ah, it brings it all back...

      Delete
  4. What a fun call story. It's interesting how not everyone "gets" how big and rare a deal it is to become a published author with a "book". (loved your distinction, btw)

    Congratulations, Naomi!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great call story Naomi! So cute! I understand all those feelings ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. So much fun! I love little more than hearing about how everyone gets "the call." Or in some cases, "the email." I'm still a nervous wreck when I realize my agent or editor wants an actual phone conversation, even though they're usually fun. =) Congrats again, Naomi!! Can't wait until that book arrives on my doorstep next week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find I do better with phone conversations rather than emails, but maybe that's just me. Then again, I tend to keep my agent and editor on the phone for so long that they likely cringe when I ask for a phone call and think "Better block off two hours of time so I can talk to Naomi again." :-)

      Delete
  7. Great call story. How you survived the weekend I don't know but it gave you the opportunity to talk to your soon-to-be agent, didn't it? All in God's timing.

    I am so loving your book. The tension, the historical setting we avid LIH readers have not seen, and yes, the characters. Just marvelous. Blessings on your debut!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you're enjoying the book, Julie! And yes, the setting is a little different, but I found it fun to write in. :-)

      And yes, the weekend was rather long, but with my mom up for a visit, she found ways to keep me distracted!

      Delete
  8. Very cute. Loved your story, Naomi. And I wouldn't worry too much about being, "professional." Just be your own sweet self.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the encouragement from everyone! I'm glad you all find my story inspiring. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I cant wait to read it, Naomi ...

    That had to have been the longest weekend ever!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, I just love those words, an editor from New York just left you a message. So glad you got that call. Can't wait to read your fascinating book.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations, Naomi!

    I can't imagine having to wait a whole weekend. Thankfully when I got "The Call" (now almost thirteen years ago) I'd gotten home early from work and was there when the editor called. I can't imagine having to wait a whole weekend.

    So happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, sounds like you did it the right way, actually being home for the phone call. The weekend was long, to be sure!

      Delete
  13. I have a hard time imagining you strangling anyone. Then again, they say always look out for the petite ones.

    Wonderful story! So glad I finally got to hear the whole thing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You know, I feel like I also need to add that not only did I miss "the call" from my editor, but I also managed to miss the delivery of my first box of books.

    Yep. You know that moment authors dream of where they're holding their published book in their hands for the first time? Well, I was in the middle of a two week trip when my books arrived. Had to call the neighbor to go rescue them from the snowy front porch!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Cute story. You're up on my reading list. I can see my free time coming up and looking forward to it.

    Vanessa Riley
    www.christianregency.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Naomi,
    Thanks for sharing such an swesome, inspiring story of "the call". Looking forward to reading your book!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Naomi, thanks for sharing that story and for being so honest! It was good to see a bit of myself in there as well, lol! Can't wait to read your BOOK! Yay!

    ReplyDelete