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I Got The Call!November 13, 2008

I've always wanted to type that title.

In writer-speak, getting The Call is not God urging you to become a priest. It’s when your agent calls you to tell you that an editor wants to buy your book.

I've been DYING to tell you.

Let me start at the beginning. My incredible agent, Susanna Einstein, sent off my manuscript on Monday, October 27th, to seven  or eight publishers. I tried really hard not to think about it. Tried to push it out of my mind. This, by the way, is like sharing a desk with a plate of fresh fudge and trying to ignore it for hours, days, on end.

On Halloween morning, four days later, I woke up at seven o’clock. I’d been having a wonderful dream, one of those that you don’t want to leave. But I needed to get up.

I started the coffee. I blearily rubbed my eyes. I sat at the computer to work.

Now, my normal M.O. is to sit and write for about an hour or so before I allow myself to check email or anything online. I don’t turn my airport connection off, though, because I like to write with Pandora playing in the background, so I need to be online. So I don’t check email, but my email notifier still comes through, because I’m too lazy to disable it.

I opened the document I had last been working on. I stared at it. My eyes might have crossed in sleepiness, I’m not sure.

My computer bing-ed and I saw a message come in. My gmail notifier lets me see who sent it and displays the first sentence.

The email was from Susanna. It said, “Call me as soon as you wake up.”

Yeah. Yeah!

My heart started to race. Literally. As I dialed her number, my hands were shaking. With delight in her voice, she told me that Avon (a division of HarperCollins) wanted my book! Wanted to BUY it!

Not only that, but they wanted a THREE-BOOK DEAL.

I looked up, out the window, while she was talking. Was I still dreaming? The dream I’d had right before waking up had been so good, so vivid. Was this just an extension of the dream? Was I still in bed? I remember seeing the pigeons that I hate perched up on the eave outside my window. I didn’t think I’d see the pigeons if it was just a good dream. I loved those pigeons at that moment. I think I asked Susanna that, who assured me, no, I wasn’t dreaming.

This was on Friday. She used the day to call the other editors who had the manuscript – she told them there was an offer on the table. We’d wait to hear back from them before accepting.

I still wrote. Isn’t that weird? I spent about an hour, calling every person I could think of, telling them I got the call. Then I sat down and wrote. I wrote crap, I’m sure. I’m positive it was nothing but drivel. But I wanted to honor that belief that the New York publishing world had in me, in my own silly way. I wanted to write.

I spent that weekend walking on clouds. Early last week, a week ago Monday, my book got into a little bidding war. A bidding war! My book! By last Friday, though, Avon had successfully maintained its grasp on it. I was glad: They were the first to believe in it, and in my naïve-to-publishing mind, I wanted them to win.

Right now, as I type this, I’m waiting for an introductory phone call from my new-to-me editor, May Chen. I’m as nervous as Miss Idaho in the same room as a man with a hat. If I still smoked (six years smoke-free), I would be chaining.

While I wait, let me copy and paste what was in the November 11th Publisher’s Marketplace:


Rachael Herron's debut ELIZA'S COTTAGE, in which a rancher's way of life is threatened by a woman trying to escape her past; the first book in the KNIT TWO TOGETHER series, to May Chen at Avon, in a good deal, at auction, in a three-book deal, for publication in Spring 2010, by Susanna Einstein at LJK Literary Management (NA).

(I know, it feels like forever away: Spring 2010. But I’m told by everyone who knows publishing that the time will fly by.)

Of all things, I think Mom would have been most excited by this. Remember when PM was in paper? For sale? (Is it still, or is it just online now? I’m not sure.) She loved that magazine – she’d read it cover to cover. She always knew the news, knew the book buzz. She’d be really, really happy to see my name in it.

An hour later - I’m back! My editor called! (I have an editor! Of my own!) She is awesome. I am now convinced that I have the best agent and the best editor in the world.

I am SO glad I got to tell you. I couldn’t wait.

I’m so happy. Thank YOU all, for believing in me. I also have the best readers in the world. How lucky I am.

(PS - leave a comment or drop me an email if you want to be added to my writing email list -- I won't spam you, but I'll let you know when the book is coming out so you don't miss it!)


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Congratulations! My heart is racing for you, this is such wonderful news. It's too bad that your mom couldn't share this with you, but having her in your thoughts is a way of sharing it too.
Please add me to your writing email list, I'd love to read your book when it is available.
Congratulations again!


Congratulations! I am happy for you and looking forward to reading your bookS.

Please add me to your email writing list.

Oh my goodness!! Congratulations! I'll need to be on that email list; I can't wait to read your book. What wonderful news.

yes! that is awesome! of course i totally want to know when it's available to buy. :) in my mind i'm thinking "Spring 2010!!??" WAH! but i guess if you can wait, then so can i! congratulations again - this is such a great affirmation of all of your work.

OMG! Rach! That's so fantastic!!!!!! A real live book deal! Avon does good stuff too... I remember my mom read a lot of their romances.

You give me so much hope! Now if I just had enough strength to force myself to sit down and keep writing.

Congratulations! This is so, SO exciting!

uh, hells yeah you better put me on that email list!

so, so, so deliriously happy for you.


I am so proud of you, Rachael. This is just so very fantastic!

Congrats, lady!

Does this mean we get to have sushi again?

How wonderful!! Put me on the list.



Yay yay yay! Congratulations, Rachael! (OK, tearing up again). I would definitely like to be on your email list, wouldn't want to miss your book for the world.

OH. MY. GOODNESS. You're a series! I'm so happy for you and proud of you. And I kinda want to casually mention to someone that my friend's book is coming out soon ("soon" is vague enough to work, I think).

Mazel tov! This is such great news! I hope that your writing career only continues to blossom from here.

Oh my God! Congratulations! That is so awesome! I can't even imagine how excited you must be.

Holy crap!! Whoo!

Whoot!!! Congrats and chocolate all around!!!

Please add me to your email list!

Well hot damn girl!!!! Congratulations Rachael, I am sooooo happy for you!!!!

And absolutely I want to be on your writing email list....I can't wait to read it!!

{{{{Congrats Again}}}}

Wow, congratulations! What fantastic news - you must be thrilled to bits. Please include me on your mailing list too.

Cogratulations. I love your blog and can't wait to read your book.
Please put me on the list.

OMFG! Congratulations!!! You listened to your heart and were true to you and I am so happy for you!!!


This is such fabulous news! Congratulations, Rachael. I want signed copies for my library. And when you do your book tour I want you to do a talk at my library, too.


CONGRATULATIONS!!!! This is beyond super-fantastic. I'm so, so, so happy for you!


But I'm happiest for myself because ever since I read the chapters you posted of your book in progress, I've been hoping that you would get published just so that I can read how it evolved and what happens! ;)

I'm so happy for you! Please put me on your email list I am really looking forward to buying and reading your book!!! Congratulations.

Not just 1 but 3 books! Wow! So happy for you, keep up the good work.

LE SQUEE!!! I'm so happy for you! And I'd love to be on your mailing list. Congrats!!!

that is so amazing!! congratulation!!!!! please let me know when it will be coming out!! yay!!!

Dude!! I'm super excited for you! Please add me to the writing list. (Confession time, I'm a romance novel junkie)

My heart is also racing for you, I'm so excited! You're a role model and an inspiration (no pressure) and you're going to be so good at this!

Count me in too Rachel! Dying to read your book.

Oh, wow! I have lurked for so long, through your big news and small. This time I know just what to say: Congratulations!

Delurking to say congrats!!! What a wonderful, glorious thing to have happen to you... put me on the list... can't wait to read it!

Rachel, that is SO AMAZING!! Good for you!!!

You know what I'm thinking. So pleased for you, you are so well deserving of this good fortune because you have earned it and shared it over and over again.

Omifuckinggod!!!! waaaaHOOOOOO!!!!
I am so, so happy for you, Rachael! cannot wait to read them all.
Of course I want to be on your email list. Yay you for staying the course.

Yes, We Knew You Can ! !

Yer ma and me allways new you cud rite.

Whhhoooooooooo eeeeeee !!!!

Point of clarification--ain't no cottages on any ranch, anywhere.

Minor detail to a MAJOR HURRAH!!

yer dad

THREE BOOK DEAL!!!!! I have goosebumps, seriously. I'm so proud of you!!!!!

Woo! And furthermore, Hoo! (And I just read your dad's response, so now I'm tearing up. Dads are so low-key yet sweeter than sweet like that.) Yay, you! And, please add me in on that writing list.

Rachel That is so awesome! I am incredibly happy and excited for you! Way to go!


congratulations!!! i am so thrilled for you, and i can hardly wait to get that book into my hands!

Way to go!!!! I'm so thrilled for you :) Definitely let me know when it is coming out. I know I hardly ever comment...but it still has me grinning ear to ear in excitement for you :)

Wa-ha-hey! Congratulations! I'm so thrilled for you :)

OMG!!! WHAT AWESOME NEWS!!! Congrats a million times over Rachel!!! I can't wait to read ALL THREE of your books :) I could not be happier for you!


Your father is making sure that all of us who "knew you when" are hearing the grand news now.

Yes, please keep me posted. Then I can ignore your father's notes and hear all about it directly from you.

Rachael, your mother always knew AND she knows now.


Congratulations! And as someone who has always shared my life with dogs and cats -- some a bit more neurotic than others -- this line:

"I’m as nervous as Miss Idaho in the same room as a man with a hat."

kills me. I've been reading your blog for years and Can't Wait to read your book!

Hello Rachel! What a mind blowing and exuberant moment! Your Dad has been keeping me posted and it has finally happened!Please ad me to your E-mail list and let me Know how to purchase your book(s)Thanks.
Friend of your dads.

Yay!!!!! Congraulations! And please add me to the list!

Oh, and tell Lala I enjoyed the Whoreshoes show at the Topanga Roadhouse (which I hear the locals call the Stop & Fight).

OMG Rachael that is such fabulous news! Add me to your list!

I'm sure the joy in your heart has your mom's soul soaring! Just reading your experience of
having your book accepted tells me that I'd love to read your books. I was a friend of your parents in Samoa and have never met you. You have me wishing I could be giving you a big hug and jumping up and down with you. Truly AWESOME! Congratulations!!!
Add me to the list.


Oh my god, ongratulations! I am so thrilled for you! Please add me to your list!

Rachael, I'm more of a lurker than a commenter, but I'm so excited for you that I just had to add my congratulations to the list. Congratulations! This is wonderful and you so deserve it. I wish I edited romance instead of knitting books so I could be the lucky editor to work with you. I don't edit fiction, so I won't say I'll be the perfect resource, but if you want any advice on how to get what you want from an editor from my editorial point of view, feel free to shoot me an email. I'll tell you all the best ways the authors I've worked with have softened me up ;-)

I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU! How amazing and wonderful! You go, girl!

Please put me on the email list! I can't wait to see your novel in print! And CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I am so unbelievably happy for you!!! Will you come stay with us when you do a book signing at MDS&W??

(And YES, add me to your list!)


Hurray! that's really, really wonderful--congratulations! I can't wait to read it.

Your mother would have been so proud. We'll look forward to reading the book in our book club. Maybe you can arrange to be there. Please add me to your email list.

So cool! Put me on your mailing list. I must buy your book as soon as it is out!

congratulations! will you sign my copy?!

Whoa! Congrats!

Congratulations! After reading along here for the last year I know how hard you've worked to get to this point, and it's great to see it rewarded. Best wishes for your debut, and I'd enjoy receiving updates. -Christen in KS

Congrats! I love that its a 3 book deal--I love reading trilogies!

And yes, sign me up for the email list! I want to be one of the first to buy your book!

So what I want to know is are you going to get a to take a super-hot Romance Writer sexy author's cover shot? ; )

Congratulations, Rachael, and put me on your writer list!

Doing the happy dance for you!

What fabulous news! Enjoy every second of the ride. There is =nothing= more exciting than selling your first book. Unless you sell 3 of them at once!

Yay! Congrats! What wonderful news!

Please add me to the list.


Could. Not. Happen. To a better, sweeter, more deserving person.

Yay Rachel!!!

And PLEASE put me on your writing email list.

Woweee Wow Wowwwwwwwww!

Such great news!

Please add me to the list, cause I want to buy your book right when it comes out!

So very happy for you! Congratulations! You've worked hard and it's wonderful to see the reward. I'd love to be added to your email list.

Oh.My.God. I am so pleased for you. A three-book deal. How professional and grownup and, well, 'authory' is that? Onya, grrl.

OH MY GOD! I'm misting up I'm so happy for you! This is WONDERFUL news! Add me to the list too! (and, I'm sure your Mama is thrilled also)

Wow, congratulations!!

Awesome! I am so happy for you. Please add me to the email list. When the book comes out, can I send it to you and get it signed??! :)
I also want to say that as a fellow Wrimo, I am so happy to see your NaNovel succeed. I just read an incredibly negative article from someone in the publishing industry about NaNoWriMo and I want to hold your book deal up and give them a huge raspberry. Yay! Hugs!

Dear Rachael,
Absolutely wonderful! Fine recognition for your hours of hard work! Good Job and we're so very happy for you. How do I get to read some of your stuff!? Please keep me posted, add me to your list I wish I could see you when you pop the champagne. You bet your mother would be over the moon. And won't it be fun to see Rachael Herron in the libraries and supermarkets!!

Congratulations! I look forward to hearing about this process from the inside. It is not so obvious when one stands in the bookstore what has led to the stack of paper there ...

*tootie horn*

May this sale be the first of many!

OMG!!!!! I have tears in my eyes for you!!! This is the most fantastic news!!!! No one deserves it more. And your little momma is looking down at you with a heart bursting with pride. Congratulations!

That is so amazing! Congratulation!!!

MWAH! Can't wait to read it! :-) We'll have to set up a "signal" for your knitting buddies to give you when you tour (I'm guessing knitting would do the trick). That way, you'll always know your audience is full of friends.

Wowie! Holy Cow! And Many Other Words of Congratulations!

How exciting is that? I can only imagine that you're on cloud nine. Can't wait to see the finished product. Add me to your list!

I better already be on that email list ;)

Yay! I cannot tell you how happy I am for you right now. Smiling BIG! Life swings...

oh rachael! **congratulations**!!! so, so happy for you-- what amazing, fabulous, wonderful news!

So, so awesome. Big congrats!

OMG Rachel that is SUCH GOOD NEWS!! I'm so happy for you! When I read the title I said "Yes!!" and had to call my best friend (who also reads your blog) to tell her. She says congrats too!!

Spring 2010?? omg how will we ever make it that long... :)


Oh yeah... could I be on your email list? :)

How amazing! You are really living your dream. I was excited just reading your post, I'm sure I'm going to love your book and I can't wait until the Spring of 2010!

Keep reading the Suzanne Brockman books- I love the fact that not all of the characters are white, straight and from the midwest. She raises some real issues in a format (romance) that I love.

Squeeeeeeeee!!! That's so awesome! Congratulations!!


I got all teared up when I read your post.

Congratulations! I am SOOOOO happy for you.

You deserve this.


Woooohoooo!!! You are awesome! They got in a bidding war over you. How amazing. A 3 book deal. Holy crap. I am so excited for you. I shall never become an author because I would die of hysteria if that happened to me. (Also, I don't write books). Many congratulations.

Add me to the list for sure!

You bet your ass I want to be on that list!

Congratulations! We're all so happy for you up here.
Three book deal right out of the gate - that's no small potatoes.

Much love to all - two-legged and four.

How freakin' exciting is that??! This is way better than winning the lottery as it's something you earned, not random chance. You have a right to be incredibly, insufferably proud for a good long time.

Mazel Tov!!! That's really really wonderful news! Congratulations!

That news just made my day! A BIG Ol HOORAY for you! So proud to know you! That's just the best. If I could turn cartwheels and backflips and all that I'd be doing it. Your mom would be so happy thrilled proud and smug because she had FAITH IN YOU! YOU GO RACH! AROOOGA!

Congratulations. Wow, what a rush. It's every writer's dream. Great job. I would love to be a part of your book email list.
I've been reading your blog for quite awhile but I don't think I've ever commented. I just wanted to let you know that you inspired me to try NaNoWriMo this month too and while it's a huge struggle, I'm so glad I'm doing it. Thanks for the inspiration and the further inspiration as you run toward that finish line of PUBLISHED!

Delurking to say congrats! Funny to be so happy for someone you've never met, never spoke to, but I am. I have a feeling you have a hit on your hands!

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