Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Call Story: Andrea Laurence

Andrea Laurence, Harlequin Desire's latest debut author shares the story of her call and gives details about her special giveaway.

Thank you to the ladies of PHS for inviting me here today to share my call story. I always love to read a good call story. How often do you get to hear about the moment someone has their dream fulfilled? It's not quite as dramatic as winning a reality show, but hopefully, a writer's career will last a bit longer than the fifteen minutes of fame you get on television. I had waited over eight long years to hear the words "We want to buy your book." I'd spent countless hours imagining what it would be like. Would I be at work, where I'd have to hold in the excitement and carry on with my day? Would I be at home? Out shopping? There were so many different scenarios, but I knew how I would react. Who I'd call. I had a list of questions for the editor and bottle of standby champagne ready and waiting. When the call came, I would be ready.
And yet, in my wildest imaginings, it never went down anything like last May 31st.

I'd been working closely with Shana Smith at Harlequin Desire for over a year. I'd gotten good feedback. Things were going well despite the first book not working out and having to start over with a new idea. But I was so close. Agonizingly close. But I wouldn't let myself believe it until I heard the words. I dream big, but I'm not one to get my hopes up and be disappointed. I'd been close before and ended up under the blankets with Ben and Jerry to console me. Despite being cautious, I was doing everything in my power to seal the deal. I wrote a new book from scratch in 3 weeks. I revised it in a week. I wanted to do everything I could to sell before conference. I NEEDED that pink sale ribbon in New York. I just did. I didn't want to wait another year for it.

After I finished revisions, I mailed the book, nauseated., as always. Maybe I hadn't spent enough time on it. What if I'd worked too fast and blew it? Either way it was too late. I started work on another book and worried about my upcoming vacation. My niece was graduating from high school and my brother-in-law was retiring from the Navy after 25 years. We were flying to Baltimore for a few days with my in-laws. I figured it would be a while before I heard back since Shana had to read it (and like it), the senior editor had to read it (and like it) and whatever magical editorial mojo had to happen. Summer was coming, which means vacations and holidays off for the staff. No big deal. I tried to forget it was even out there and headed to the airport with my family.

I was none too pleased to find out that our flight was 4 hours delayed when we reached the gate. We'd arrived early, so I was due for at least 5 hours in the airport with my honey and his parents. While gearing up for my 25th game of spider solitaire on my iPhone, a NYC number popped up on my screen. I figured it was a telemarketer. I'd gotten a lot of those calls lately. But what else did I have to do? So I answered. Not once did it register what was going on until I heard the woman introduce herself as Shana Smith. Not really even then. I figured she was calling about her guest blog or something. It could possibly be that.

Then she said she had great news and wanted to buy my book. This was the point in time where the universe slowed to a crawl. I was stunned. I didn't know what to say or do. I was dumbstruck. I couldn't yell or cry. Not only was it not cool, I was in an airport terminal and didn't want security called on me. I think my first words were "Oh my god, I'm in the airport." That was followed by a lot of 'wow' and 'that's great' while she talked about contracts and revisions. I think she knew not to say too much given I was reduced to muttering those two phrases over and over. As much as I thought I could handle this moment with class and style, I failed. I wrote things down on the back of my boarding pass so I wouldn't forget. I tried to think of intelligent questions and just rambled on. I was a spacey mess. Looking back on that moment now, its just sort of a weird blur. But the message came across loud and clear - my first book was tentatively scheduled for spring 2012!

After about 10 minutes of talking to my editor (Yay, I have an editor!) I hung up and turned to my honey. He smiled and hugged me, having heard my stupid rambling and knew what had happened. I sat back in my chair for a good 15 minutes. I knew I needed to tell people but I wasn't ready yet. I needed to come to terms. It just didn't seem real. What was I going to say to people when I called? I practiced telling my in-laws, then I was finally ready to get on the phone. I called my Mom and cried. Then I called each of my fellow Playfriends and squeed. I ended up sitting on the floor in the airport near an outlet so I could charge my phone while continuing to call everyone who had supported me and kept me writing when I wanted to stop. They deserved to hear right away. Then I texted a slew of people. Posted it on Twitter and Facebook, and went back to waiting for my flight.

Of course, my call story had to be weird! It all went down in an airport. I couldn't leave, couldn't fully celebrate. The bottle of champagne was in my fridge at home. The bar in the airport was closed. When we got to Baltimore (we got into our hotel at 2AM after me getting pulled over for speeding… what a day!) I had to hold it all in because it was other people's time to celebrate, not mine. Thank goodness for my iPhone. It kept me connected with my people and all the cyber celebrating. Finally, I got home, celebrated, got my revisions, had a heart attack, recovered, and revised the book that is on shelves right now.
Life is a wild ride sometimes. Who would've thought this time last year that I would be celebrating my book release, wrapping up a blog tour, doing book signings and other reader events? Crazy! Have you ever had one of those years where your life completely changed in those 12 months? Share your story. This blog is the last stop on my blog tour and your final chance to comment and win a pink sea glass locket I'm giving away Friday.
Thanks for having me,
Andrea
WHAT LIES BENEATH, April 2012
She’s Awake. So Why Can’t She Remember?

They say she’s Cynthia Dempsey, fiancĂ©e of media mogul Will Taylor. But try as she might, she can’t recall their high-society life or the man sitting by her hospital bed. Though her body certainly remembers him. Even as she senses the distance between them, the electricity when they touch is undeniable.

Will can hardly believe Cynthia’s transformation. Gone is the ice queen who betrayed him, and in her place is a woman who seems genuine and warm. But can he risk his heart again, not knowing what might happen when her memory returns?
Blog Tour & Contest! Don't forget my blog tour contest! Receive an entry for commenting (one per blog) and a second for signing up for my newsletter (http://eepurl.com/e3O5k). The winner will receive a pink sea-glass heart locket pendant and a personalized autographed copy of What Lies Beneath. Small Print: The winner will be chosen at random after the conclusion of the blog tour – Friday, April 27th and announced on the Writing Playground blog (http://www.writingplayground.blogspot.com/). The winner will have 7 days to contact the author at author@andrealaurence.com with her mailing information or the prize will be forfeited and re-awarded

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations Andrea!

    And I really love that cover :D

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    1. Thanks, Amalie. I love the cover, too. I was so happy when I first saw it. Thanks for visiting today!

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  2. Fabulous call story, congratulations Andrea!

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  3. I'm so excited! What a great story! If it were 'normal' it wouldn't be fun!

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  4. Andrea,

    Wow!! What a story!! Congradulations.


    Lori

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Lori. I think you've hit every stop on the tour!

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  5. Thanks for sharing your story of getting the call! Congratulations and best wishes.

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  6. Congrats on the book and great review whoo
    Kimh

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  7. Congratulations on the book! Very nice post. Thanks for sharing about your writing process.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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