Like, I’m sure that “Walking On Sunshine” wasn’t actually playing over the office loudspeakers (did we even have loudspeakers?) when I got the email from my agent offering to represent me. Or again when I opened the email with an offer from a real live editor. There probably weren’t animated birds flying around my cubicle.
But there they are, chillin’ in my memory as if my “call” moment was the equivalent of that musical number in 500 Days of Summer.
The actual calls (and by calls I mean emails) were much quieter and more businesslike. When the offer came on my book, my agent sent an email detailing the fine print. Which is her job, I know. But I think I actually said to her, eventually, “but aren’t you so excited????” Because I couldn’t sit still. I called everyone I know and literally skipped all over the office. There were hugs. And, later, margaritas. My agent was cool, calm and collected. She’d been through this before, and likes to maintain a sense of professionalism. I like to maintain a sense of bestfriendism, even with colleagues or agents who probably would have been perfectly happy to never hear me squeal. It’s not pretty.
Here’s what’s so great about getting the call via email: You can reread it. And reread it and reread it again until you have it memorized. When my agent offered to represent my book, she wrote one of those emails every aspiring author dreams of getting. She just got it. And so, when editors absolutely did not get it and sent big fat rejections, I reread her note, assuring myself that if she understood what I was trying to do some editor out there would too. (This was, of course, when I wasn’t wallowing in melodramatic misery that almost sent my husband of five months running in the other direction.)
So, in sum: Offer letters are great. But the memories of opening said letters? When the sky gets brighter and the adorable deer peek their heads out of the bushes of the cartoon forest that has suddenly emerged in your flourescently lit office? Those are greater.