Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Call Story

There have been requests for my Call Story. On one of my email lists, Anna Campbell said I had to make sure to include every squeal. Does that mean I have to include every cough, sneeze and wheeze, too?

Yes, I was sick, suffering from a really bad cold or flu. On Thursday a week ago, agent Clare Forster from Curtis Brown Australia, who'd been considering the manuscript, offered representation, and we had a good phone discussion (interspersed with coughs and yes, a squeal or two), the result of which was that she'd email the agency agreement the following day for me to consider.

Thursday night I had to sleep in the recliner chair, rather than bed, so that I could breathe AND sleep. The manuscript was with a publisher, and we knew it would be discussed at a meeting on Friday, but didn't expect any decisions from them for a while. So, I was off work again on Friday, and when the phone rang mid-morning I muttered a mild swear word as I trudged from the study through to the living room thinking it might be a tele-marketer.

It was Bernadette Foley from Hachette, very excited, offering to buy my books. And there was me, trying to be professional and coherent while coughing and squeaking. It's one thing to imagine seeing your book on the shelves - I'm sure every aspiring writer has done that almost daily! - but quite another to have a publisher enthusiastically discussing books and plans and careers, and making it real :-) When she emailed through the offer letter on Friday afternoon I confess I did check who it was addressed to, because I did think 'Wow. Are they really talking about me and my books??'

Clare has been fantastic, discussing options with me, explaining things, and discussing details with Hachette during the past week. The manuscript was also out a couple of places elsewhere, so we needed to decide what we wanted to do. For two days of this, I didn't have a voice, which quietened down my squealing a bit. Yesterday, we decided that yes, we did want to accept the offer. Clare phoned Bernadette, I phoned my DH, and then Bernadette phoned me. Yes, there was excitement. And some squealing. Constrained, professional squealing of course :-) And a lot of grinning.

I'm still a little shell-shocked, and trying to get my head around the shift from 'aspiring writer' to 'author', but I do feel incredibly privileged and thrilled that I'll be working with such wonderful and experienced people.

The DH brought home champagne and Chinese food for dinner for a small celebration, and it was nice to just enjoy the moment with him. We'll probably go out for dinner next week with some friends.

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged, cheered, supported, and been with me along the way. I suppose it's possible that I might have been able to do it alone, but it would have been a long hard struggle, and not the rich and heart-warming journey that I've experienced.


Carol said...

A great call story Bronwyn! how exciting it is for you, a new adventure in store for you! best wishes and and get well soon - asap.
Cheers Carol

Keziah Hill said...

Wonderful Bron!

Anna Campbell said...

Congratulations again, Bron! And thank you for sharing the squeals (and the coughs and the sneezes and the snorts!) with us. I LOVE call stories!

Nell said...

Wonderful call story and congratulations again on your fabulous success!

H Maree Davis said...

Congratulations Bronwyn!

I can't wait until it comes out.

H! :)

Anonymous said...

That was a well deserved reward. Look forward to your book launch next year.
Warmest wishes,

Maureen McGowan said...

Nothing better than a great "CALL" story. Thanks for sharing and once again, HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!

YvonneLindsay said...

Bron, warmest congratulations on your saleS!!! and your new title 'author'. What fantastic news and very well deserved too. All the best!


Kris Starr said...

Many, many congratulations, Bron!! This success is most well-deserved!

Enjoy it -- and you go right ahead and stay up there on Cloud Nine for as long as you want!


SisterACT said...

I always knew you had great talent. I can't wait to hold the books in my hand and see them on the shelves.
Look after those hands - you will have lots of autographs to do!

Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Wooooo damn! Love the call story! Love the writing. Love the author!

Bronwyn Parry said...

Thanks everyone - Carol, Keziah, Anna, Nell, Maree, Robyn, Maureen, Yvonne, Kris, Ann, and my dear Sis - for your congrats and good wishes.

The wonderful support really does mean a lot to me.

And Ann and Sis - you're both extra special to me. You know that, don't you? You're continents apart and don't know each other, but both of you have been unstinting in your support for years, generous with encouragement, and unhesitant to boot me up the backside when I needed it :-) Every writer should have friends and relations like you!