Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Getting the Call You've Been Waiting For

Hey all,

I have to admit I don't read a lot of blogs.  I'd love to, but I'm just too busy.  I have my favorites, like Dear Author, Karen Knows Best and the Smart Bitches.  I could spend hours scrolling through their more snarky posts and the comments that seem to multiple afterwards.   I also have a few author sites I check in on from time to time.  But mostly, I spend my days on my writing and trying not to feed this bloody new FACEBOOK addiction.  See Monday's Post on that! *snort*

Anyway, someone tweeted me the other day with a link to a thought provoking blog.  See HereIt's written by a gal named Rachelle Gardner who is a literary agent at the Word Serve Literary Agency.  She's got a lot of interesting things to say and this specific post is a humorous look at when an author first gets "the call" from you know who.

No, not David Hasselhoff.  *sigh*  Though there was a time when I was young and foolish I would have taken his call.  And his bathing suit.  And his...what are those big plastic red things called?  Never mind.  That's another story.  What I'm talking now about that all important call from...

A publisher!!!!

And as I read Rachelle's blog, it took me back to when I first got "the call".  That heart-stopping moment when I realized someone really wanted to read what I'd written.

Actually, I got the call twice.  Once for the print media and once when I discovered ebooks and submitted my work there.  But while the ebook acceptance was AWESOME, (Thanks, Rene!  I'll never forget you.) it was done by email and so there wasn't that person to person contact.

But I remember well when I got my first magazine acceptance.  It was a short piece I'd done for Country Magazine for their special holiday Christmas issue.  Since I'd done it close to eight months before I'd totally forgotten about submitting it.

I had a good reason for putting it out of my mind.  We were in the process of moving (I don't remember where, we moved so many times) and were staying with my Mom while Jonathon was working out of state.  I had come down with a nasty flu bug and my sister-in-law had taken the kids so I could sleep away my day.  So you can imagine my irritation when the phone rang and woke me up from my nap.
Once I'd wiped the drool from my chin, I answered the phone.  A man asked for my mother.  I, still cranky from being woken up, told him she wasn't there and wanting to go back to bed, I had to force myself to ask if he wanted to leave a message.

So imagine my surprise when he said he was from Country magazine and he was trying to get a hold of a CJ England.  Was my mother any relation?

I was in such shock he had to ask me the question twice before I answered him.  Then, in my calmest professional voice, I said, "What a coincedience.  I'm CJ England."

I can't really remember the rest of the call other than the fact they'd been trying to track me down since my contact number was disconnected after the move.  Apparently he'd gone through the Country magazine subscriptions and when he noted my mother lived in the same town where I'd set the story, he took a chance and gave her a call.  It was only years later that I realized just how much trouble he'd gone to to find me so they could print that story.

As I look back now, I see that the story of my first acceptance is a story in itself.  I can't seem to do anything easy and thank God for a stubborn editor who saw something in my work and gave me my first taste of being published.

Now, over thirty books, more magazine articles than I can count, and even a few collaborations in both books and magazines, I can say I am a published author.  But I'll never forget that exhilirating moment when I picked up the phone and my editor asked for my mommy.

Take care all and I'll see you on Friday as we chat with my friend and guest author, Viki Lyn.

Hugs to all,
CJ England  

Follow Your Dreams


sjwilling said...

LOL, asking for your mommy. He should have given you double the rate for that. :)

My First sale I suspect is one of the easiest that ever happened and I think I've been excessivly lucky in that one.

I put my first chapter of the novel up on one of those contests where folks come in and vote to see which is the most popular and within a week of having it online I had a call from a small press editor asking for a full manuscript and I had a contract by the end of the month.

Now if only all sales were that simple.



Dominique Eastwick said...

Love the Blog as always :)

And yes I can relate.

CJ England said...


sj, why didn't I think of that. LOL

First sales are always joyous no matter how hard or easy. It's a memory you'll never forget.

CJ England said...

Thanks, Dominique. I appreciate the compliment!

Phylis said...

I think you appreciate the what you had to do the hard way more than if it was easy...Not saying I wouldn't want easy sometime! LOL Liked reading about your first acceptance CJ! So cool.

Unknown said...

My first sale came via email. After so many rejections, I thought I had read it wrong. Nah. Must be the wrong person. But, hey, it really was me. I stared at the email for a long, long time.
Gulp. They wanted my story. The happy dance came much later.

CJ England said...

I agree Phylis. Knowing you worked to get it sometimes makes the victory sweeter. Glad you enjoyed the story.

CJ England said...


That's so exciting. It's a feeling that never goes away!