You Never Realize Your Jaw Is Capable Of Dropping That Far, But It Is


I have no idea why, but I didn’t check my email that day. I opened it the following morning, while munching on a bagel at my day job.


And then I started hyperventilating, sure I had to have read that wrong.

Then I went to the restroom, sat down on a toilet and put my head between my knees so I wouldn’t pass out.

I remember my hands were shaking.

Seriously, my hands were shaking. Holy cow. Holly West, an editor at Swoon Reads (an imprint of MacMillan Publishing) wanted to talk to me about my book. Not just one editor, two editors. And they also asked that I not post about it on social media, either.

I composed myself, went back to my desk, and shot off a very professional, “Why yes, I’d love to chat,” sort of email and gave her my availability. We made a date to talk that afternoon.

4pm arrived, and with a notepad and pen in one hand and a cellphone in the other, I waited. The phone rang, and somehow, I managed not to squeak or babble like a loon.


They loved my book. They loved my book, and they wanted to buy my book, and there was even more than that – they wanted to make a two-book deal and include the sequel! There were lots of contract details that I dutifully wrote down and then the call ended and I sat there frozen in stunned silence.

I had a book deal. I had a book deal for not just one, but two books (with a reasonably good advance!) and they loved my book and this was a “big five” publisher and holy cow. I’d done it.


And then I started laughing, because here I was, a single mom, who just landed the deal of her dreams and not only could I not crow about it to my blog followers, my kids were gone to their father’s house for the weekend, I was all alone, I had $1.82 in my bank account and couldn’t even afford a bottle of champagne.

A good friend came through for me, however, along with a bottle and a box of chocolates, and that evening, I celebrated (as my friend author Suzanne Finnamore would say) “with extreme prejudice.”


I was about to become a traditionally published author. Holy cow, I really was.

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