Monday, January 28, 2008

The Call

They say “The Call” comes when you least expect it. I cannot tell you how true that is. I was cleaning the grill on the air intake of my heater when my call came. Lee Duncan, the contest coordinator for the Launching a Star Contest, called because one of the final round judges, Roberta Brown, wanted my personal information. Lee wanted to make sure I was okay with that.

I would love to tell you that I handled “The Call” with suave aplomb but no. I didn’t. I gave my information to Lee with quivering excitement for I’ve had my manuscripts requested from contests but never had anyone request to contact me personally. Deep down to the sticking place in my heart I knew this was my moment. How inglorious to be scrubbing a heater intake vent!

Within a few days, Roberta called me. We hit it off right away and talked for an hour and a half. Best of all Roberta loved my story VIRGIN HARVEST and wanted to represent me. No pussyfooting here but a resounding cheerleader who said my story was unique, wonderful, and amazing. I struggled for years and this was the moment I had strived for. The moment I had dreamed of. And this moment happened less than two weeks after I was eliminated from American Title.

Because of the constraints of the American Title contest I couldn’t tell anyone I had been eliminated. By the time I could tell everyone the bad news, I had signed with the agent of my dreams. What made signing with Roberta even sweeter was she represents a friend of mine, Patricia Sargeant, who will be guest blogging with us on February 8. We always thought it would be fun to be “agent buddies” and after long last, we are.

I wouldn’t have made it to this moment without the help of friends like Patricia, my ATIV buddies, fellow RWA writers, RWA chapter contests, and my amazing family. Thank you all for sharing your insights, your personal struggles, and just sharing the roller coaster ride that is the writing life.

Thank you for letting me break my big news here on the Title Magic Blog. I thought this would be the perfect place since I really feel it is magical news! I would love to hear your tale of the call or who your dream agent or editor is.

22 comments:

Amanda Ashby said...

Yay - mega congratulations on signing with your agent, that is so wonderful and I love and adore hearing call stories!!!! While living in the UK I got an offer from one US based agent but I had already done some very exciting revisions for another agent so I emailed to tell her about the offer and she asked for a week to make up her mind.

Well, everyday she would email me and ask me another question and by the end of the week my nerves were pretty frazzled (especially since the time difference meant I was staying up until about midnight in case I heard from her), thankfully, by the end of the week she offered to represent me and then she sold my book 2 1/2 weeks after submitting it!

Savanna Kougar said...

Anitra, that is so incredible! It is magic the way it's all working out for you.
Nope, I've never gotten The Call, only e-mails to offer contracts for e-publishing. I did recently get an e-mail with a suggestion that I add 14,000 words to When a Good Angel Falls, so it could be published in print. I wish I could say I dashed my fingers over the keyboard writing furiously, but I have too many other projects going on with All Shades of Blue Paradise and Red Lioness Tamed coming out. Plus, I have to work on Book II and will be signing a second contract with Siren Publishing.
I know Virgin Harvest will find just the right publishing home! We can have a big Title Magic debut and celebration.

patricia sargeant said...

Anitra, hearty congratulations, agent buddy! This is so super cool. I'm looking forward to walking into a book store and purchasing the first of many, many books by you. Very best wishes for continued success. I'm so thrilled for you!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Amanda--that's the kind of story I want to hear! Not that I expect Roberta to sell it that fast . . . :)

Sav--that's still "The Call". In this day and age I think e-mail is just like a phone call. Maybe we could call it "The Mail" ??? :)

Patricia--thanks for stopping by! I can't wait to post your blog on Feb 8 :)

Red Garnier said...

Anitra I LOVE your story. Huge congratulations, this is a huge feat and moment for you, wahooo!!! Thank YOU for sharing it with us. I wish you all the best!

Evonne Wareham said...

Anitra

Huge congratulations. Hope it's an omen too for the rest of us who have already dropped out of AT IV!

Lillian Feisty said...

Yay!! I am so excited for you. Roberta is amazing!!

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Anitra,

Wonderful news. I've met Roberta and she is a lovely lady and I've heard many good things about her. You have a wonderful agent and I'm over the moon for you. I hope your book sells quickly so we can all celebrate your first sale!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Red--thank you so much!

Evonne--that's why I waited to break the news; I think everyone in ATIV will have a moment like this! And you have to share it when it happens. :)

Lillian--Roberta is awesome! She has always been one of my two dream agents so I'm thrilled to be working with her.

Helen--I've only heard great things about Roberta too. She is so down to Earth and put me at ease right away (I was shaking when she called and almost dropped the phone!)

And my biggest hope is that when people read this they understand that if you keep plugging away you can get there. It took me 10 years and 20 manuscripts so never, ever give up.

Sindee Sexton said...

Congratulations Anitra! I've heard fabulous things about Roberta. You are so incredibly lucky!

Sindee Sexton/Cynthia Falcon

Mel Hiers said...

Omigod Anitra!! That's awesome!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Sindee--thank you so much and congrats to you on your double final in Hot Prospects! :)

Mel--thank you! It was really hard not to say anything for two weeks. I practically had to wrap my hands in socks and duct tape not to type the news!

Holli Bertram said...

Anitra - Congratulations! What fabulous news. You've got yourself an incredible agent. Can't wait to celebrate your first sale with you!!

Trish Milburn said...

That's FANTASTIC news, Anitra! Huge congratulations!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Thank you Holli and Trish! I will keep everyone updated on the progress!

Lexie O'Neill said...

Dear Anitra,
I'm late as usual, night class last night...BUT let me not be the last to say CONGRATULATIONS!!!
I am so impressed by how hard you've worked, somewhat like those overnight sucesses in showbiz:) You deserve it, champagne and chocolate and lobster wishes coming your way,
Lexie

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Hi Lex! No prob on the late visit--everyone's schedule is so crazy busy lately. LOL on the overnight success--ain't that the truth? Good luck to you on the Amazon contest! :)

Mai Christy Thao said...

OMG, Anitra. Eek! I'm sooo late with this, but I'm terribly happy for you, Anitra. Roberta is one of the best agents around. Way to go!!! OMG, I'm tickled happy for you. Go you!! =)

Peggy Ramsay said...

Hi Anitra,
I haven't seen you for quite some time. Congrats on your success! I critiqued one of your books early on, but never did hear if it got published. I've always wanted to see it on the shelves, but it's been so long, I don't remember the title. Do you remember the one I'm remembering? It was a medieval.

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Better late than never, Mai! Thanks for popping in--I know how crazy busy you are! :)

Peggy--Oh my gosh, how are you!? You read "Honor Bright" for the Utah "Heart of the West" RWA contest in 2003. Your insight and constructive critique help me refine my author voice. Sadly, Honor Bright never saw the light of an editor's desk, but that manuscript helped me grow as a writer. I lost your email long ago but I'm so glad you remember me because I remember you! :)

Please email me at anitramcleod at
Netscape.net

Er, change the at to @... I'm trying to thwart those spammers! :)

I am so thrilled to be back in touch with you! :)

Koko Brown said...

Anitra,

I was so happy to hear that you'd received the "call" from Roberta Brown. Not surprised. I judged your contest entry and was immediately blown away. Congratulations again and I see a bright future in the stars for you. P.S. Please tell me when the book comes out because I'm dying to see what your heroine has up her sleeve:)

Koko Brown

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Thank you Koko, not only for your wonderful comments but for taking the time to judge the contest. When Roberta sells the novel I will post here on Title Magic and on my webpage. Heck, I'll be blabbing all over the planet!