This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
How was I doing? I think panicked pretty much summed it up. Anticipatory. Scared. Excited. Worried. Elated. Anxious. All of the above.
Because it was the day. After months of submissions, a fortuitous contest win, back and forth and back and forth, Berkley – an imprint of Penguin Random House – was making the final decision about my book.
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My entire fate, it felt, rested on this one moment. My entire future. The career I had dreamed of. Seeing my book on bookshelves. Sure, I could start over. We could submit to other editors. I could write a new novel. But the mere idea of being so let down when I had been so close was too much to even consider in that moment.
So I replied, “I don’t know. How am I doing?”
“You’re great,” he said. And I could hear the smile in his voice.
I was standing behind my desk in my office, and I instantly plopped down into my rolling chair, which skidded precariously.This was it. I was an author.
So, so many questions were fighting for position at the front of my mind. I couldn’t pick one, so I just started spouting them all out.
My agent finally laughed and said, “You’re not really making any sense. Why don’t you call me later.”
And then I was just there. In my office, looking out over the front lawn and into the nest of trees, the same way I had been the entire time I had been writing this book and sending query letters.
My son was at preschool. My husband was at work. There were so many people to call, but, for the moment, I was utterly alone with my entire life changed.
Instead of picking up the phone, I walked down stairs, opened the refrigerator, removed a bottle, grabbed a glass, walked back upstairs, sat down behind my desk, popped the bottle, poured those bubbles and took a sip.
For one entire, silent glass, I concentrated on normalizing my heart rate and letting it sink it: I had just gotten a book deal. I was an author. It was a realization even sweeter than the champagne.
Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey is out now.