Surprise Call

I was standing in my kitchen one late afternoon contemplating dinner when a big surprise appeared. No, it was not a naked man falling through the ceiling, alas.

However, it was a man calling on the phone and asking for me. Now, since I am married, that does not happen very often. Especially someone I was sure I didn't know. But I admitted to being myself. He then identified himself, his publisher, and announced that he was calling to see if I was intending to sell them a short story I'd submitted.

This may not seem like a big deal, unless you're a writer. But I was stunned. He was calling me??? I could barely answer him. It was truly such a complete surprise!

Backstory. Though I have finaled and even won a reasonable number of contests, I'd never, not once, received a phone call to announce my proud moment. I've sold a novel and a novella, both sales offered and finalized completely via email. So I felt like I'd already had my "first call" story, without any excitement whatsoever. An offer is always nice to get, via any medium, but the personal touch was definitely lacking.

Honestly, I'm chagrined to tell you how exciting it was to have this man on the phone. And he even complimented my story!

Now comes the sad part. I asked him a few questions about the terms of the sale. Sob. I didn't like them. They weren't terrible, but I liked my story, too and thought I might do better elsewhere. So I had to say no to the very first person who made the effort to call me with an offer. I didn't enjoy that.

But…it's sort of like a first kiss. The surprise. The excitement. The confusion. I'll never forget it.

Any other surprise calls out there, writing or otherwise?


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Years ago during a snowstorm when schools were closed, Harlequin called me and told me if I put more sexual tension (don't you dare give me a cheshire cat grin, dear teacher) that they would be interested in sending me a contract. Mind you, this was before I joined RWA and I really had no idea what sexual tension really was. The story was the only one I had written at that time. BUT I sure got excited getting the phone call. Alas, it is the only almost offer I've ever gotten, but at least I got one in my lifetime. I am still trying to figure out what sexual tension is. :) That's why I take classes.

Carly Carson said...

Paisley, Nicole has a class about sexual tension that is very well regarded. That call sounds like it must have been very exciting. And from your very first effort! Don't give up. You must have had something appealing. Sexual tension is that simmering attraction bt. H/h when you can't wait for them to finally get together, right?

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Yes, I am very fortunate to be in Nicole's class on sexual tension, Carly. But thank you for mentioning it. She is a fantastic teacher and I've enjoyed many of her classes before. I was teasing her a wee bit. :)

Nicole North said...

Thanks so much, ladies!!! I see that grin, Paisley, and will be testing you on sexual tension later. :)

Carly Carson said...

Aha! So you ARE an expert Paisley.