Hello everybody! (And from this I always hear “Hi, Dr. Nick!”).
It’s so awesome to be posting here for the first time. Well, actually I was introduced in April with the other new Medical Author Amalie Berlin, but this is my real first time actually posting and exposing you to my crazy.
Okay, not totally crazy. Just a touch.
It’s awesome because I’ve been lurking here since I started actively writing for medicals, which was the 2010 Fast Track. Seeing how I didn’t sell until 2013, it’s kind of ironic that it was my fast track submission Safe in His Hands which sold in January 2013, but I can safely say that it wasn’t ready until then.
My call story was a long, HARD journey. The path to publication with Harlequin was NOT an easy one, but I’m glad for it because it made me work for what I wanted.
In 2010 I entered the fast track with Safe in His Hands, which had the terrible title of City Surgeon, Wilderness Doctor. I kind of still cringe when I read it with that title. I love, love, love the one Harlequin gave me.
I entered one chapter and synopsis and then Tessa Shapcott asked to see the partial, but she gave me some ideas to keep in mind going forward.
I sent in the partial in November of 2010 and I waited.
July 2011 Lucy Gilmour asked for the full at a really, really, REALLY bad point in my life. You see, one of my best friend’s died. Suddenly. He was my youngest son’s godfather, he was married to my other best friend (who is more like a sister) and she had a two-year old son (like my youngest) and was 16 weeks pregnant with their second son (my godson).
He had routine knee surgery that went smoothly. The nurse spoke with him and within the moment of her turning to the next bed he threw a clot and passed away. There was nothing they could do and tragically his life was over. To say we were all devastated in an understatement.
The request for the full came two days after his death. I couldn’t even contemplate it. Couldn’t even think. For a while, I wasn’t sure I could, but then I remembered my conversations with Chris and how life is too short, too precious to not take a chance to achieve your dream. My dream was become a Harlequin author. If I didn’t do it I know he would be kicking my BUTT.
I poured EVERYTHING I had left emotionally into writing the full and sent it to Lucy in December 2011.
And then I waited, but only until March 2012 when I got an email from then editorial assistant Caroline Kirkpatrick.
Caroline worked with me from March until August on turning my Beta hero into a dishy Alpha. I was ready to kill my hero. One moment he was emasculated, the next he was a jerk. I even admitted that to Caroline in a phone conversation how much I hated the jerk version of him. Actually I referred to him, at the time, as a douche and she laughed. There’s nothing douchey about him any more though!
Also during this time I went on a 10,000 km (that’s round trip) across country for my sister-in-law’s wedding in Alberta. I was in the midst of planning and a wee bit stressed.
Above is me and my youngest at the wedding rehearsal, June 29, 2013 in Camrose, Alberta. Far, far from home.
I edited on the road. It was nuts, but I wanted in at Harlequin and I would just be thinking about it the whole month we were gone anyways.
August Caroline called to tell me she was leaving. *SOB* I was so worried that the next editor would HATE it, hate my voice and me. I was assigned Suzanne Clarke in October 2012. She tore into what I had, told me in a list what to change and that she wanted it in the new year. I worked like a fiend, I mean, I’d come this far. I was scared out of my gourd, tired of working on the story, ready to tear my hair out, but I did it. What was the point of giving up now?
The worst that could happen was she’d say no. You don’t know unless you try, eh?
I sent it off early January 2013 and prepared myself to wait.
January 25, 2013 I woke up on a bitter cold day at 6 a.m. and decided to check my email. Usually, I don’t do this. I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. I’m more like a zombie in the mornings, “Need brainzzzzz.”
There was an email in my inbox from Suzanne. My heart dropped into my stomach, probably farther.
This is it, she HATES it.
Instead she asked me when it would be a good time to call.
I freaked out. My husband couldn’t figure out why the heck I was so perky for 6 a.m. on a day it was minus 30 out and the fact I still had to take the kids to school in this nasty winter weather. Usually I’m calling for brains (see above), but I was excited because I knew something good was going to happen. She wanted to call. I didn’t read and obsess over all those call stories for nothing! (Tina Joyce Beckett, I read yours a billion times! LOL)
I set up a time for her to call me at 9:00 a.m. EST which is like 2:00 p.m. her time. At 9:15 a.m. the phone rang and Suzanne offered me a two book deal.
I tried not to sound like too much of a goon, but I was a dancing all over the room as she went over stuff with me. The next day I hosted a crazy Star Wars birthday party for my middle guy who was turning 7.
The only birthday party where I wasn’t crazy exhausted after dealing with six 7-year-old boys, probably because I was on an adrenaline high from the previous day.
Anyways, I digress.
It was a long road to hoe, but it was worth it. It was what I wanted, more than anything and what made it even sweeter was the blood, sweat and tears I put in to it. I hope I showed my three kids ( 1 girl and 2 boys) that you can achieve your dreams.
So if there’s anything other lurkers can take away from my call story is (and yes I’m quoting Galaxy Quest here) “Never give up, never surrender.”
Give it your all. Capture your dreams.
And thanks for letting me ramble here today.