Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Glamour of Getting "The Call"

Alley Pals, a lot has changed since my last post. I know by now you want to throw a shoe at me because I already blasted it on social media. But just in case, a few short hours after I last hit post, I got "the call" that Harlequin Heartwarming wants to publish one of my books! 

I've always been fascinated by the ever-elusive "call" and how it changes everything but doesn't seem to stop life from going on. Where would I be when I got the call, I always wondered.

My agent and I had been communicating regarding my newest manuscript that went on submission a few days before, so when I saw her number on my iPhone screen, I thought, for a split-second, that it would have to do with changes I needed to make for that book or something. But I knew.

I was in line at the pharmacy, waiting for my son's ear infection prescription -- perhaps the most mundane place one can be when an all-important bucket list item moves to DONE. And when I got off the phone, I made the proper notifications as I went on with my life. I took care of a baby with a double ear infection. I cooked dinner for the family, changed diapers, did some work for my clients. 

Isn't it glorious how most of us are writers AND parents or students or professionals, doing our thing to keep life afloat while this passion and identity weaves through everything we do? 

I asked some of my friends to share their stories of getting good writing news:


When I told my boys that I now had an agent, my 10-year-old asked, 'Does she have any hockey players?' 'Uhhhh, nooo.' Then he shrugged and said, 'Then she's not a real agent.' - historical fiction author Jennifer Major

I was in a tree stand, bow hunting and checking my email. My husband was across the marsh in his stand. I saw the email come through saying my agent wanted to set up a call to discuss representation. There wasn't anything I could do. I couldn't scream or I'd scare away the deer! So I texted my husband and waited, anticipating the euphoric reaction. The text came through: "Cool." Then I messaged the next best person, my sister, who said she made her daughter jump because she screamed so loudly on my behalf. - Jaime Jo Wright, author of "The Cowgirl's Lasso"

I got the 'call' for my three-book historical series while I was driving to work with a van full of kids. The hardest part of my day was trying to focus on giving speech therapy without wanting to squeal every five minutes with excitement. - Pepper Basham, Alley Cat extraordinaire and multi-published author

I had advance warning that 'the call' was coming when the editor emailed me to ask for my phone number so we could talk. I was expecting a baby any day and had to wait two days for that phone call. I told my husband that I didn't care if I went into labor--if she called, I HAD to answer. - Sarah Varland, author for Love Inspired Suspense

I received the call for agent representation while I was waiting at the dentist for my husband to get his wisdom teeth out. - author Janette Foreman, represented by Tamela Hancock Murray

I got the call in Panera about my first Love Inspired contract. After, I was so excited I left. But when I got into my car, my door slammed into the side mirror of the car next to me. (Colorado wind can be crazy.) Thankfully all was well, and I left a note just in case. I never heard from anyone about it. - Jill Lynn, author of Just Show Up, Her Texas Family, and Falling for Texas.


From the honesty of children and family members keeping our feet on the ground, to car woes, to work, to errands and daily life, it's amazing how author is ingrained in us and just sort of happens to us, whether we're published, agented, or just writing our first chapter.

Editing this TODAY because it just hit me why I love this concept so much:

Because getting the call in the middle of everyday life means you went for it, worked hard, and did a very brave thing in the middle of everyday life!

Where were you when you got good writing news? If you got the call this afternoon, what would you most likely be doing?


Laurie Tomlinson is a wife and mom from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who is passionate about intentional living, all things color-coded, and stories of grace in the beautiful mess. Previously a full-time book publicist, she owns a freelance copywriting, editing, and PR consulting business called 1624 Communications

She's a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a two-time Genesis Award winner, and the runner-up in the 2015 Lone Star Contest's Inspirational category. 
Her work is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary.

You can connect with Laurie here:
Twitter - @LaurieTomlinson


Teresa Tysinger said...

As someone still dreaming of the "call" these are so fun to read! If I got the call today, I'd likely be sitting at my day-job desk. Work goes on. :) Congratulations, friend.

Laurie Tomlinson said...

@ Teresa - You and me both, sister! I love that we are going for it in the middle of everything!

Joanne Bischof said...

LOVE the joy of these times!! So fun to get to read them. Got such a laugh out of the hockey comment. Congrats, Laurie on your big news and to the all the ladies for these special bucket-list moments!

Anonymous said...

Yeeeep! What Teresa said. ;) I've had a manuscript sitting in a small press' inbox for almost a year now and no responses to my "checking in" email(s) and I just want to get the freaking official rejection already before I move on with my life and this novel (aka crit partners getting to work on it!) ;)

Emily Conrad said...

This reminder of the I-was-standing-in-line-at-the-pharmacy side of getting "the call" takes what I'd begun to think of as a lofty, far-off dream off its pedestal in an encouraging way. A call from an editor hasn't happened to me yet, but it happens to others living their normal lives. We really never know what God is working on our behalf while we're going through our everyday lives. In fact, whether or not that results in a call, He's working amazing things in our lives. Thanks for sharing these stories!

Lindsey Brackett said...

Ha! I've been meaning to write a post about how it's not as glamorous as we imagine. I got an email from my editor and happened to check it just before I went in the grocery store with my 3 yo who wouldn't stop hollering about how he had to "go potty now!"

Laurie Tomlinson said...

@Joanne - Yes, Jennifer is a hoot! Thanks for stopping by <3

@ Meghan - I know the feeling so well, and all of those crickets will be so worth it! Just keep working!

@ Emily - YES! The Lord has gone before us and knows when that moment will happen, what will resonate with the perfect editor HE has prepared for us, and every life that will be touched by our work!

@ Lindsey - That sounds like my life every single day! haha!

Jennifer Major said...

Yes, he was entirely UNimpressed!! But Jaime?? Having to stay utterly silent?? That took control!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! Such wonderful news!

I was at work and could barely talk. Then I got the follow up email which I still have.

Laurie Tomlinson said...

@ Jennifer - I was loud enough for the both of us!!

@ Tina - I have saved all of my fun emails, too -- including my first Seekerville invitation from YOU <3