Saturday, September 27, 2014

Call Story - Elisabeth Hobbes

The Pink Heart Society is delighted to welcome Debut Historical author and last year's SYTYCW finalist Elizabeth Hobbes with her call story.

Have you ever wondered how writers feel when they finally get The Call?  I know I have.  Whenever I fantasised about it I imagined whooping with delight and grabbing devastatingly attractive strangers in spontaneous hugs (because one should never pass up the chance to grab an attractive stranger if the opportunity arises).

I certainly didn’t imagine the main sensation would be all encompassing queasiness.  Not because I wasn’t completely over the moon, but because my call came after a 5am start, on a cross-channel ferry in February -remember those storms?- with the White Cliffs of Dover coming into view.

As it happens I had three calls before the big one because I entered the manuscript that would eventually become Falling for Her Captor into Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest 2013.

I found out I was through to the final 50 of SYTYCW2013 after pulling over at the side of the road whilst on holiday in Cornwall to pick up an answer message.  It was an editor from Harlequin asking me to check my emails because I was through to the final 50 of the contest and could they please have my full manuscript by the following day - slightly alarming as the manuscript was at home in Cheshire.

I don’t remember much of that journey other than driving down narrow Cornish lanes with shaking legs, hoping I wouldn’t collide with a tractor before I got to tell my husband and in-laws the news (the news being that I’d written a novel in the first place and entered it into a competition without telling anyone).

I had two further calls.  One telling me I was through to the final 10 which came while I was cooking dinner and almost resulted in me burning it, then another telling me I had finished third in the competition (yippee) but that the manuscript wasn’t quite right for the Harlequin guidelines (sob).  Fortunately the editors saw promise so sent me revision notes and I set to work revising and redrafting.

A week or so before going on holiday I sent my revised manuscript to Sarah at Harlequin and kept everything crossed that the changes I’d made were enough to make the grade.

And so onto The Big Call.  The one that mattered, and the one I never really believed I would get.
A week skiing almost managed to take my mind off things, and the drive back from the Alps to Calais finished me off so all I cared about at that point was getting home in one piece.  There I was, settled on a lumpy chair with a cardboard cup of lukewarm lemon and ginger tea, trying to ignore the way the horizon kept lurching, when the phone rang showing a number I didn’t recognise.

“Hi, it’s Sarah from Harlequin…”

Yes, they liked the changes.  Yes, the manuscript fitted much better with Harlequin Historical’s reader promise.  Yes, the emotional conflict between Aline and Hugh worked much better (and I can’t wait to share that with you all).
I tried to sound intelligent and sophisticated, but who am I kidding?  I know I apologised for sounding vague, burbled about crossing half of France before breakfast, almost spilled my drink and tried to resist saying ‘please tell me if you want it before the ferry sinks!’

Which of course, she did.

Cue huge grins and self-conscious glances at the other passengers in case they wondered why I was acting so strangely.  Then Sarah mentioned the words ‘two book deal’ and I wished I’d ordered something a little stronger than tea!

As fate had it we were heading back to pick up our children from my in-laws so it was lovely to be able to turn up with such exciting news and a few bottles of Breton cider to celebrate.

And now I’m nearing publication date how do I feel?  Absolutely thrilled.  From the first call in Cornwall to seeing my words in print has been less than a year.  It’s been so exciting to follow my characters on their journey from my laptop to the pages and learn about what happens once that first life-changing phonecall is over.

I hope readers love Hugh and Aline as much as I do.  It’s been an amazing year since I sent off that first chapter, and with the first draft of my second story almost finished the fun is still going on.

Falling for Her Captor is available for pre-order now. You can find our more about Elisabeth’s books at her website.  

"Set me free. Say I escaped, or that you never found me."

Kidnapped heiress Lady Aline of Leavingham has surrendered any hope of rescue when a mysterious figure casts her assailant aside. But it's soon clear Aline's savior has no intention of setting her free—he's sworn to deliver her to the Duke of Roxholm, her family's enemy! 

Sir Hugh of Eardham has never seen anything quite like Aline's beauty and fighting spirit. There's no doubt he's tempted more to protect her than keep her bound. But could this loyal knight ever break his oath of allegiance for Aline's sake?

To find out more about Elisabeth and her books you can visit her website and follow her on Facebook or Twitter.


  1. What a fabulous call story! I really love reading these, they always put a huge smile on my face. Congratulations on Falling For Her Captor (what a beautiful cover, too!) and thanks for sharing your story.

  2. A great story! I hope everything goes wonderfully!

  3. Thank you all. I certainly won't ever forget where I was. I love the cover too Stefanie. I want her earrings!

  4. Congratulations Elisabeth! You gave me chills :)

  5. That is a brilliant story and I agree the cover is just beautiful.