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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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Congrats, Rachael! How fantastic for you.

Congratulations! What wonderful news!!

that is ridiculously fabulous news. A bidding war -sweet. I am convinced it will be a wonderful 3 part series (love the knit two together theme!). so you better put me on your email list because I definitely want to be in the book story loop!

I'm so excited for you. I've wanted to get that Call since I was ten, so I can't even imagine getting it. I'll be waiting all excited to get a hold on the book! Congrats! I know how much hard work goes into this. And definitely put me on that mailing list. :)

FANTASTIC! Congratulations, that's wonderful news. Add me pls.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE! How totally awesome! And, yay, I get to finally finish reading it and see how it ended (yeah, those chapters you posted on Gather sucked me right in). Also, YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY for you!

Wow. WOW!
I am So incredibly happy for you!!!!!! Put me on the list. I am not much of a romance reader in general but love anything that is well written, as I suspect yours will be! I guess I do have to confess that I devoured the Outlander series ;)

Delurking to give you a huge hug! Congratulations, Rachael!! I always love keeping up with your blog because your warm, playful, wonderful personality really shines through. I can't wait to read your book -- please put me on your email list.

Yeahhhhh, baby. Alllrighttttt.

CONGRATULATIONS to you and to Avon. Smaht cookies they be.


OMG! I'm so excited of you!

You deserve this more than anyone I know and what a year it has been for you! You have put so much into writing and I'm so glad to see that someone out there in the publishing world believes in you! Three book deal! AMAZING!

OH congratulations Rachael! This is amazing!!!! Woo!!

WOO HOOO!!!! How exciting!! I can't wait to see it in print!!

...oh...I am SO glad I stayed up for just One More Blog Tonight... :)

Aaaah! This is incredible news! Congratulations! Definitely add me to your list! I can hardly wait!

Holy crap! Congratulations. You earned it and I can't wait to read every word you write!

I am so happy for you - dreams sometimes come true!! Please add me to your writing email list!

So wonderful! Please add me you list.

Congratulations and put me on the list aswell!


CONGRATULATIONS - I am so pleased for you, what wonderful news. I'm pleased for me too because I really enjoyed reading the chapter that you had in the competition and I wanted to know what happenned next. Now I get to find out - even if I do have to wait til 2010 :)

Rachael, Rachael, Rachael!!!! You go girl!!!

I had that call about 25 years ago and I still remember the disbelieving thrill, the "pinch me, I'm dreaming" moment. And I am SO glad you get to have that too!!!And THREE books! Now that is truly impressive.

Well, now you have to write if only to keep those of us who want to know what the heck is coming down the tubes from inundating you with email asking when the NEXT book will be finished.

Joking aside, you've worked hard for this. You've had the discipline and the objectivity about your own work, without which even the most talented wordcrafter won't produce something of merit. PLUS you had the courage to put it out there, to market yourself and your "baby" to be scrutinized by the big, mean world. That takes guts. And it's paid off. Well, of course, *paid* (even once you have a contract in hand) is a relative concept, but you know what I mean.

I hope you and your lovely wife do something really special to celebrate. Wow - TWO big talents in one household. All that and Digit too...

India Joy

Woohoo!! Wicked news! Congratulations!!

How did the reading go?

Congratulations! How exciting for you!! Please, add me to your list - I want an autographed copy of it when it comes out! Unfortunately, I won't be living just down the Nimitz from you when it's published - we'll have moved to SoCal by then - but you never know when I'll be in town to visit my family. :) I'm so proud of you!

Oh, Hurray for you Rachel. You deserve it. Stick me on the list please.

Congrats! This is sooooo exciting and I'm very happy for you :o) Please add me to the list too so I can get someone to ship it to me in Denmark sometime in 2010!

I am so happy for you!! Congrats and happy squee noises to you! And, yes, please send me notice when your books (plural!) come out. I can't wait to read them. Hugs from your former editor (OK, that's a stretch), formerly in Daytona Beach, formerly with APCO.

Congratulations Rachael!

Your inner desire and hard work are behind this achievement. I will be very pleased to read your fiction once it is published although I am not a regular romance reader. Now, you must keep plotting and writing.

I wish you inspiration and success.

Giulietta (Montreal)

Long time lurker, rare poster here. But I gotta delurk to say - Dude! I am so proud of you!

Congratulations! That is just fantastic, I'm so happy for you!

YAY, you!
PLEASE put me on the list....


This is great news! I will be thrilled to read your book althoug I am not a regular romance reader. Keep the good work flowing!



wooo and f-ing hoo!! congrats and you deserve it! Please let me know when the book comes - 2010 will be here before we know it!

i know an author i know an author....i'll be singing that for you all day :)


OMG I am so happy for you. I bet there is some dancing going on at your house!!! Give all the cats and dogs hugs for me while you dance them and your wife around the room.

We are so happy for you here in Philly! MWAH!

Wooo yay! That is so brilliant. Very well done indeed. Please do add me to the list, I'll be plucking at your cuff begging for signed copies when the day comes.

Big congrats and hugs! I remember "that" call vividly. My agent left me a voicemail saying "Yeah, you need to call me immediately" and my heart started racing. I'm so happy for you! Enjoy this special time and bask in the glow of your total awesomeness!

Yay! Congratulations!

I'll come out of lurking to say wow, and congratulations and thanks for letting me lurk and be a part of this journey- how incredible!

WOW! Congrats! I've been reading you forever but this is the first time I've commented. A three book deal! I'm so very excited for you. Please add me to your writing list. I want to know every detail until spring 2010 and the book's launch! (I have several half-written romance novels hidden around my house so I know what an accomplishment this is, go Rachael!)

YAY! Congratulations!! I'd love to be on your email list -- don't want to miss any of your (soon-to-be) multiple books!

oh, congrats!!!!! so very exciting!

Woot! I bet it's hard to stop grinning! Congratulations girl! How cool is that.

Cheers!!! That is so cool!

LOVE your Dad's comment!


Congratulations! I've been reading your blog for several months, and just love your writing. Please add me to your writing e-mail list.

That is so exciting! Good for you! Wow!

WOOO! Congrats! That is SO amazing!

Ahh! Ahh! Ahh! OMG!! OMG!! WOOO!! WOOOT!! OMG!! OMG!! The dogs (all FOUR of the them) are running around the house in hysterics!
Oh, yay for you!

I'm so gettin' the books AND a poster for my office. OMFG.


Sweet! It's easy to say it now that's it's a reality, but I had no! doubts! that this would happen for you. Congratulations!

And thanks for the dog park info. We're headed there with a picnic lunch on Sunday. I'll take pics and post them on my blog.

WowWowWow! So exciting! My very best wishes--I'm sure the time will fly. Looking forward to seeing it "for reals".

Happy Dance!!!

Congratulations, and thank you for allowing us into this exciting journey.

Please put me on the list as well.

Congrats!! I can hardly wait to read......

Congratulations! I have the chills for you and haven't even been reading your blog for very long.

Three books! Fantastic.


Congratulations! Please add me to your writing email list. Your book sounds great!

Rachael! That is so WONDERFUL!
Please put me on your email list, I will want to know more as your baby comes closer to being presented to the rest of the world.


CONGRATULATIONS! I am so very excited for you. Seeing someone's dream come true is so fabulous. Thank you for letting us share in your journey.

and please, please, please convince your editor to make it Kindle friendly!

Congratulations! I'm so excited for you. Please add me to the list, I definitely don't want to miss getting a copy in 2010.

Holy freakin' cow!!!!!!

I am so incredibley amazingly ecstatically happy for you I can't even spell!!!

Congrats a ton!

Holy.Fucking.Crap. DUDE!!!!!!!!!


I'm proud o' ya. Yer Little Mama would be too!!!

AWESOME! And, yes, the time will fly by.

May each day for you be filled with this much joy and love. May your belief in yourself never be any lower than it has been made by this news. You have earned this.
You are an inspiration and, though many of us may only ever "know" you through your blog, our happiness for you and elation that 'one of our own' is achieving her dream is no less than if we knew you irl.

I'm so thrilled for you. Congratulations!

OMG! OMG! That's SO awesome! Congratulations!

Yay! What great news! I'm so happy for you!

Rachael, I apparently don't have your email on my laptop but it's almost 9:00 on Friday morning and we're headed to Tartine for breakfast. If you're not working, send me an email and I'll give you my cell phone number. I'd love to buy you a celebratory cup of coffee!

Wooooooooooooohoooooooooooooo! That is SO EXCITING! I am pround and jealous. :D Definitely add me to your list. Congratuations!!

Yeah! This is very exciting news! Not a one, but a three book deal! Awesome! Add me to your list. I sure hope the PR/marketin person assigned to your book tour schedules you for Denver - I'd love to come to your reading at the Tattered Cover and cheer you on!

Oh my goodness, Rachael - I am so happy for you! You've worked so hard for this, and it is a reward that you so greatly deserve! You can bet your sweet bippy that I'll be buying "Eliza's Cottage AS SOON AS it's available! Yay!

I am so freaking excited for you!!! Just when I was thinking the world sucked and nothing works out for anyone, you got this incredible deal!!! Yeah!!! So proud of you!!!

Yay! Yay! Yay! I'm so happy for you! THREE BOOKS! You GO!

Late to the party (didn't read blogs last night) but holy moly! Congratulations!!!! Yay Rachael!!! *hugs*

Congratulations! What wonderful news :-)

This is beyond awesome! Excellent news, petal. Well done indeed.

I am so very happy for you and your much deserved success. I can hardly wait till 2010 to ready your novel. I wish you the best, always.

OK, so last person to read the wonderful news (I was off the planet for only a minute)is still teary. Congratulations, job well done, we all knew you had it in ya kid, etc!!!!! This is truly a thrill, I get to say, "Hey, I read her when........"
Congratulations, ya got what it takes!

Yeah, baby!!!

Oh. my. god.

That is so amazingly cool. I can't even get more words out to say how awesome it is!

Absolutely add me to your list.

Congratulations, Rachel!!! That's such exciting news!! Please do put me on your writing e-mail list. I'd love to see you book(s) when it comes out!

And working in (medical) publishing myself, I promise that 2010 and publication really will be here before you know it -- and there's all kinds of interesting things to be done along the way to get there.

Rachael, OMG, I am so excited for you! This is FANTASTIC!!! :-D :-D :-D Congratulations, girl, you deserve it. (And your Mom knows about it. Trust me.)


Sign me up!

HoooYaah! YaaaaHoooo! Yippee!

Put me on your list please.

(happy happy happy faces!)

(I get to read your boooks!)

YAY YOU!!!! That is AWESOME! Can't wait for Spring 2010 - congratulations!!!!

Congratulations - you deserve it, and somehow I knew this was coming after you came so close in the contest. Yay! And do add me to your list - I can't wait!

Bravo! Did you hear the delighted squeal all the way from CT?

DUDE! That is about a bazillion light years past AWESOME.


/throws confetti in the air. Dogs are nonplussed/

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am absolutely and completely thrilled about this (but I already told you that) I got goose bumps reading (even though it wasn't brand new). You are my brand new hero (even though you basically already were) Congratulations again and again and again!!! And, yes, I am confident that your little mama would have (and somewhere is) been as proud as a mother could possibly be! (Just one more set of parens for the road) Have a GREAT time at your reading and the Nano event tomorrow!

OMG congratulations, Rachael!! I'm SO excited for you! Having read your blog for a few years now, I really feel like I've known you through this journey and this is a lovely development! Congrats, again!!

WOW!!! Holy Moly!!! Congratulations!!! You deserve this!!! I ABSOLUTELY want to be on that e-mail list about the book!!!


WOOHOOOOO Congrats! Your such an inspiration...I can't wait to read it.
So Happy for you

OH and add me to that list....Thanks

Holy crap! How did I miss this last night??? Congratulations and add me to your email list!

Dang i am late to the party as usual but girl! CONGRATULATIONS!! Just over the moon for you!

Congratulations Rachel!! Please put me on your list. Can hardly wait for your books to come out! Will be an exciting read. Your Dad, and Mom, too, are so proud. Me, too.
Marjorie Miller

I'm only a lurker, and here I am tearing up & getting chills - the works! OK, I'm PMS-ey. But STILL.

I want to buy your book! Please put me on the list.

Many heartfelt congrats!

Rachael, I am one of the TGHS "Old Girls" who emailed you after Jan's death and was very touched by your reply. Sometimes (stating the obvious) I read your blog. Congratulations on your stupendous new which I have just circulated to some of the others. I am not the first here to say I am sure Jan knows and is as proud of you as all the others.

Squee!! Please add me to that writing email list. I can't wait to find out what happens. I'm so happy for you!

Congratulations!! Please add me to your email list.

RACHAELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Your post made me cry, I am SO EFFING HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!! So proud of you too - you worked so hard on that book and look where it got you.

You deserve this, lady.


Also, of course I want to be on the list! :)

oh my!!!!! I have goose bumps and shivers and I am oh so happy for you. Not just a book deal but a three book deal! and a bidding war. You are a very talented writer (and hard-working, too) - glad to see the world is recognizing that (and a big name publisher, too!!). My most heartfelt congrats!

OhmyGodOhmyGod!! I am so excited for you!! Congratualtions!! Totally, totally add me to your email list; I can't wait to pre-order your book! Yay for Rachael!!!!

Congratulations, Rachael! I was excited to hear your news...you might have thought *I* was the one who had received a three-book deal! Put me on the list--I'd like to hear how everything progresses (and when the book will be coming out!).

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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