Wednesday, August 8, 2007


by Jeanne Pickering Adams

I recently saw a UTube video of soccer players celebrating winning goals that sums up how I'm feeling this week. I can't do back flips, but I understand the euphoric desire to do so. Why, you might ask, desperately curious? Because I reached my GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL! I SOLD. I got what writers love to dub The Call, and oh, yeah, I answered it. Ha! This means a reputable publishing house offered me a contract to purchase and publish my book. I love saying that, seeing it written. It's so yummy.

Of course, in my imaginings, when I got The Call, I would have ideally been sitting at my desk, hair coiffed, dressed in actual girl clothes (as opposed to jeans and a t-shirt), with real, honest to goodness make-up on, working on a pithy rejoinder from my heroine. Imagine with me: Rrrriiiiing.
"Hello," says imaginary me, in my most professional voice.
"Ohhhh, is THE Jeanne Adams, the author?" gushes the desperately-seeking-manuscripts editor. And I deign to stop working, speak with her and, once I'm satisfied with the deal, I sell her my book.

Is this the way it happened? Hahahahahaha! Of course not. I was in the car. It was already 91 degrees and the AC in the car was hardly working. Errand two for the day was to take it to the shop later that day. My two boys were in the back, alternating between singing Scooby-Dooby-Doo-Where-are-You at the top of their lungs and squabbling over a toy. We were, blessedly, on the way to camp where I was looking forward to dropping the older one to play baseball before taking the younger to daycare. Into this maelstrom comes the ring of my cell phone. My sister usually calls to say hello on the morning drive, so I simultaneouly hit Answer while fussing at the boys, "Hey, pipe down, Aunt Sis is on the phone!"

Ahem. Professional? Nope, not a bit of it. Thankfully, my editor (oooh I love saying that!) has a sense of humor. After I got over being totally flustered that SHE-Who-Has-the-Power-to-BUY has not only CALLED, but called my oh-my-gosh-cell-phone(!!!!), I ask as calmly as I can muster if I may return the call when I've dropped the boys off.

She agrees, I hang up. Then I yell and sing at the top of my lungs. This promptly shuts both my children up. Imagine that. Total silence. "Uh, Mom?" comes a tentative voice. "Are you okay?" You see, I don't usually spontaneously break into an incredibly raucous version of the Hallelujah Chorus (alto part) in the early morning, in the summer. Closer to December, the bets are off, but in July? No.

To my seven-year-old, I explain in his terms: Well, son, in my business, its as if I've just hit a Grand Slam Home Run to put my team into the playoffs. (I'm reserving the World Series analogy for when I make the Times List!) To my two-and-a-half year old's repeated, "Mommy, otay? Mommy otay?" I just pat his knee and say "Oh, yeah, Mommy is OOOOO-Tay!"

I broke several speed laws getting them to their respective places, eager to get home and call the editor all the while thinking, is it real? I have to tell my husband. What if its a mistake? I have to tell my sister. What if they want so many revisions I can't do it? Oh, #@)$#@)($*. I had worked myself into a true tizzy, between bouts of hysterical laughter, more singing, and a call to my husband, who was thrilled.

As I whip my car into the driveway, I nearly hit Errand #1, the vet. She was at the house for my dog's annual check up. I love that she comes to the house. Usually. Not today. I don't want to tell her because I don't know her THAT well, and heck, I don't know what's going on! She wants to do the full work up, chat about the dog, his health, his age, his teeth. All the while I'm thinking, if I don't call this editor back, she's going to hate me. She's going to call someone else. Aaaaaargh.

Thankfully the vet finished up and blissfully unaware, went her merry way. I called the editor and managed to be reasonably professional, get the details and agree to the deal. Now what? Yikes! I decided to wait to tell anyone other than my sister and my husband until I had the contracts in hand. Insecure? You bet. Worried it was all a figment of my very vivid, hyperactive writer's imagination? Totally.

Its never what you think it will be. But its usually better. And let me tell you Banditas, and Bandits, and all as-yet-unpublished marvelous writers out there, it is one AMAZING feeling to know that your story, your book, your imagining, your PEOPLE will grace a book cover, and a book shelf in a real bookstore and that actual REAL human beings will buy it and read it and hopefully, enjoy the heck out of it and buy another.

So, like Caren, you bet I'll direct people to the bathroom when it comes my time to do a book signing. Heck, I'll direct 'em to any section in the store they want - I know 'em all! For the sheer privledge of getting to BE there, I'll reshelve books for the bookstore if they want!

Big or little, every writing goal met deserves a celebration. How do YOU celebrate? Bubbly? Godiva? Both? (After all, why be stingy w/ the joy?) A bubble bath? Wild monkey sex with your significant other? Heehee. How about multiple back flips....check out the soccer guys on UTube - Now, that's celebrating...


jo robertson said...

Oh, Jeanne, that's the BEST call story I ever heard. I wanted to cry! Truly! Thanks for sharing so much more of the details that you posted on the loop.

I imagine myself behaving like Emma Thompson in Sense an Sensibility when she discovers that Hugh Grant (what IS the character's name?) isn't really married. She just breaks down and cries. I'd do that -- I'm such a baby!

Okay, I'm going to post something about having commenters react to your post -- great idea on the bubbly celebrations -- but hell, I'm just interested in the CALL STORY!!! Let's give away those two POC3 tee-shirts by random selection to our guest commenters, okay? Though I'm not sure a non-writer would get the sheer euphoria of the experience!

Joan said...

Wow, I just met a writing goal of finishing the first round revisons of Damon's story THE PATRICIAN'S FORTUNE. Celebrate?

I watered my lawn.

Man, your enthusiasm and excitement just leapt out from your post. Congratulations, Bandita!

Now, I know I have chocolate somewhere.....

Cassondra said...

Wow Jeanne!


And great job on the call story. That's so cool. I have no illusions about the perfect call story. I can't even get the dust bunnies vacuumed. Erma Bombeck comes to mind. I'll answer the phone with toilet brush in hand. "This is Cassondra," in a slightly flustered why-are-you-bothering-me voice. EXCEPT.....

The area code gives it away. If I can only remember to check the caller ID and clear my throat first.

WAHOOOOOOOOO! Another Bandita sells!

Joan said...

LOL Cassondra,

That's the "voice" I had last year when Connie Newman phoned me with the news I'd finalled in the GH.

I THOUGHT it was BellSouth trying to sell me something :=-)

Stacy S said...

Congrats!! That's wonderful, I'm happy for you. How long will it take to be published? Congrats again.

Aunty Cindy said...

YAY, Jeanne!!!!!!!
That is ONE GREAT call story. But the bottom line, of course, is THE EDITOR CALLED! And having read part of the book *winks* Aunty doesn't need her crystal ball to predict that this will be the FIRST of MANY SALES for our esteemed Duchess.

As most of you know, Aunty reached an important goal recently (finished my WIP and sent the full manuscript to an editor at HER REQUEST), 3 guesses as to which of Jeanne's mentioned celebrations Aunty chose. And anyone who has spent ANY TIME in the Bandit lair better only need ONE GUESS! heh! heh!


Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, honey, we are all SO PROUD and DELIGHTED! It couldn't happen to a nicer, more giving, or more delightful person. And WE GET TO BUY YOUR BOOK!! See, this selling thing works out for all of us. *g*

I'm so thrilled for you!!!

And, you know, I'll be a blithering idiot when I get The Call and probably won't even remember who called me. And they'll call me while I'm at work, so I'll have to jog out of the building while babbling and shaking like a leaf. That's just how cool and professional I am. I can't wait!!

Kate Carlisle said...

Aw, Jeanne, I'm so thrilled for you!! And also a little teary-eyed after reading your call story--so you can imagine how I'll react *when* my turn comes. See Jo's reaction above? Emma Thompson in S&S? Oh yeah, that'll be me!

How wonderful to have your dream coming true! I can't wait to read your book!!

Tawny said...

WOOOhoooooooooooooo Jeanne!!!

What a fabulous call story! I love it all, especially the breaking out in song part :-)

Now me, I danced in circles screaming (hey, its hard to tell between that and my singing voice anyway) until I was out of breath... but I like some of your other options better.

Hmmm... I need good news so I can compare them all. Scientific like, and stuff *snicker*

shelley said...


Congratulations on your sale! I loved your call story and could picture the scene so well. :-)

Because I live in New Zealand all my calls come via email. I celebrated by going for a walk with hubby and the dog. I read and reread that email over the course of the day just in case I'd been seeing things.

Congrats again, and enjoy the moment. I'm sure it will be the first of many!

Beth said...

Jeanne, I love your call story! What a perfect beginning to what is destined to be a stellar career! I can't wait to hold a copy of your book in my hands :-)

I figure when I get the call I'll be wearing the same ratty old sweats I usually wear, no make-up and my hair in a pony tail (I have no delusions *g*)

Sue A. said...

Jeanne congratulations on getting the call! It is truly a great accomplishment! I wish you all the success in the world on your endeavors as an author!

Trish Milburn said...

Congrats again, Jeanne! And I for one think unusual Call stories are way more fun than the sitting-at-the-computer-working ones. I love, love, love that Banditas are selling. Let's keep it up, ladies!

Trish Milburn said...

And, btw, I'm bummed I can't win one of those Pirates T-shirts. :)

Helen said...

Huge congratulations Jeanne I loved your story on how you got "The Call" celebrate however you please you really deserve it.I can't wait to read an excerpt and hear all about the story and of course when am I going to be able to buy and read the book.
Have heaps of fun celebrating.

Annie Mac said...

WooHoo!!! Congratulations Jeanne

TinaFerraro said...

Oh, Jeanne, I am thrilled for you! Especially having just met you face-to-face with Anna at breakfast, I can imagine your beautiful smile and how you must be glowing!

I actually got The Call at my 11 year-old son's hospital bedside following emergency surgery (that's a story in itself) but about 12 hours later, with him released and asleep, I shook up a bottle of champagne and did a little fizzy/slurping thing to celebrate. It was a purely wonderful moment!

FilmPhan said...

Chocolate is my way of celebrating. And a good hot guy movie.

brownone said...

Wow Jeanne...what a great story..and congratultions!!
My kids are just like that and I'll answer the phone in mid sentence when I am bellowing for them to quiet down. Then I'll get back on the phone all quiet and nice.

Anna Sugden said...

Jeanne!!!! WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!! Im doing the imaginary GOAL celbrations for you (in my mind I can do back-flips etc). On the other hand, maybe I'll just imagine them removing their shirts *grin* (Christiano Ronaldo - yum!)

This is such wondeful news - I'm soooooo thrilled for you!!! You deserve every minute of happiness - you've earned it!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Congratulations again, Jeanne! I love that the kids were all concerend that you were yelling and singing in the car. LOL.

As for me, I've already shared the tradition of Margaritas at Cozymels with my writing friends. Of course this is preceded with lots of yelling into their ears over the phone!


CrystalG said...

Congratulations. I love your call story.
I usually celebrate by going to dinner with hubby and buying something from my wish list.

Claudia Dain said...

Congratulations, Jeanne! The part I love best about your story is that your kids were there to witness it and share in the moment; that will be a family story that they'll be telling their children!

Leslie Dicken said...

CONGRATS, Jeanne! So thrilled to see fellow GH '06 finalist sell - and a local gal, too!! I'm so happy for you. What a great Call Story! :-)

Gail Fuller said...

Congratulations, Jeanne!!!! I enjoyed your call story. You're living the dream. WTG!!!

All the best,
Gail Fuller :)

tetewa said...

Enjoyed your call story today and hope you have great success on your release!

Keira Soleore said...

Jeanne, what a fab fab Call story. It's wonderful that the Banditas are selling, one success story follows the other. When I get The Call, I would have to try really, really hard not to shout in the editor's ear. And after the phone call, I'd hit the spa and get a massage--an hour and a half of pure unadulterated bliss.

Keira Soleore said...

V.Anna: Ronaldo? I'm a Maradonna kinda gal. :)