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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Really Long First Call

What happens after you receive The Call? Does your life change drastically? Do you become an instant celebrity? Do novels begin to pour forth from your fingertips each time they touch the keyboard?

The day I received the first call, I was at work. I took the call in the Executive conference room while my boss was at lunch, hoping he wouldn’t call or come back before I could get off the phone. That’s when my agent shared the news I’d been offered a contract and he thought I should take it. I was thrilled.

I played it cool with my agent, but when I hung up I did a “yes!” dance and called my hubby who did the same thing (but probably not the dance part). Then I walked calmly out of the conference room and went back to work as if I had not just received some of the biggest news of my life. But that wasn’t The Call. Not really.

It was actually the first of many calls; and as each call with news of negotiations and plans came in, my husband took me out to dinner. I started to worry that if we didn’t physically sign the contract soon, we’d break the bank with all our celebration dinners.

Finally, the call came that I was sure proved it was official. I called my mom, dad, and siblings – again - and told them it was Really the call. Then, my hubby…took me out to dinner.

And guess what? I went back to waiting for another call. I hadn’t realized my contract needed to go to the Random House offices in New York before it could be signed. The contract was probably not in New York for long, but it felt like forever to me. While my contract was hanging around in New York, I met my husband on a business trip there and each night at dinner my husband and I joked we should stop by Random House and see if we could speed up the process a little bit. Okay, so my husband was the one joking. I wasn't. And he would Not let me visit them!

Eventually in August, I signed my contract and that’s when I could finally announce it to more than just family! I sent the news to my online writing loops and did everyone know who I was? No! The news had not already made its rounds through the publishing circle. But what did happen was that published and pre-published writers alike, from RMFW and ACFW, surrounded me with congratulations and support. And all their support was really appreciated because after the initial excitement, the overwhelming feeling that I was going to be a big failure hit me.

And that’s where my faith came in. I figured God brought me here. He’d see me through. And after several stressful weeks of no good writing flowing from my fingertips due to excitement and pressure, I finally sat back down and began to write - just like I had done before I had any idea I was ever going to be published.

Once you figure out which Call is which, life does change, but not drastically. I have more responsibility now, but when I get stressed out I follow that voice that tells me to get back in the chair and write. Simply write. And life goes back to normal.

Tina Ann Forkner writes contemporary women’s fiction and has recently contracted with Waterbrook Press, a division of Random House, to publish two novels. The title of her first book will be Ruby Among Us. Visit her at


Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing this story. It was interesting to see all the different steps and to feel your excitement and anticipation.

Tina said...

Thank you Jennifer! It is kind of like a roller coaster ride. Have you ever seen those toddler roller coasters at the fair? That's the kind I need. :)


Cara Putman said...

Great post, Tina. The Call is the one that matters, but it's so easy to lose sight of that.

Paula said...

I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I'm glad you got the call and the Call! :o)

Tina said...

and the call... :)

Thanks all. I can't wait to hear about your calls! Or if you get it like Cara did where she got to run up to the stage at ACFW! What a rush it was to see that!


Tiffany said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It encourages other writers like me.

My calls are about articles so far. Not sure how I would handle a book call. Fun! I have a children's book in me and a few other ideas stirring. Now if I can get past my fear of failure and finish them or at least one.