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I GOT THE CALL, BUT I MISSED IT!
For a few years now I’ve anticipated getting THE CALL. The actual publisher was vague in my mind, but the message was specific. Someone wanted to publish my book! I didn’t know which manuscript would be the lucky one, or which publisher, but that didn’t matter.
How many of you dreamed the same dream? Probably everyone who writes a novel thinks about the milestone phone call when an editor says she loves your work enough to buy it and publish it. Often a lot of time will tick by before the phone rings with the right person on the other end. Sometimes we fear it will never happen.
I finally received THE CALL on a Monday afternoon around 3:00 while traveling back home with my husband from a weekend camping trip. I know—no one in their right mind camps in 100 degree weather in Florida—but we did. A mistake, but I digress. My phone was in my purse ready for me to grab just in case an editor felt the urge to call with an offer. It’s never happened before, but it could happen at any time. It’s good to always be prepared. I’ve been ready for several years with my phone near by. But for some reason the phone didn’t ring when an editor actually called!
After we got home I immediately checked e-mail and found a few hundred messages. Then part way down the first page I found one that caught my attention. It came from a lady with a familiar name, but one I couldn’t place immediately. The subject line said Love on a Dime, the name of one of my manuscripts. Suddenly it dawned on me the sender was an EDITOR! I opened the e-mail and read, not quite believing the words. It seems she’d phoned me earlier (while I was in the car), and then sent me the e-mail with her phone number. It was Natalie Hanneman of Thomas Nelson. I could hardly breathe. I fished my cell phone from my purse and checked my voice mail. Hers was the third one. She wanted me to call her back. It’s hard to punch in a number when your hand is shaking, but of course I managed. Natalie answered right away. This was without a doubt the very best phone call I’ve ever received. She loved my book!
Two days later, thanks to Natalie and my agent, I signed a preliminary contract for three books. Woohoo!
I’m so glad I never got discouraged enough to quit writing. Perseverance is the key. And God’s perfect timing. Every time I think of that phone call and e-mail I grin. I can’t stop grinning. And why would I? It was a moment to savor. I know the reality of revisions and deadlines will pull me down to earth, but I’ll flash back to THE CALL and remember what a great privilege it is to write the story God’s given me to write. I wish the same blessing on all of you!
By the way, I have a pen name—Cara Lynn James.