The book deal thing went slooooooooooow and then–zip!–done in a day.
The slow part was submitting. Some interest, some suggestions, some passes. I did a few small requested revisions.
Then Kate Miciak at Bantam got her hands on it. She wanted to schedule a phone call. I paced and panicked and jumped up and down. Despite the five hour time difference between England and New York, it was set for eleven-thirty AM my time. Kate is an early bird.
We talked for an hour. She asked me what I don’t read, which is an interesting twist on the more usual question. (Answer: I don’t read cozies anymore. Used to, but for whatever reason this is a different stage in my life.) We talked about my book, and about books she’s edited. Lots of anecdotes and friendliness on both sides.
After hanging up, it was still breakfast time in New York. I couldn’t get ahold of my agent yet. I left her a message: “It went great! We got along! I think she likes the book!”
Later that day: An offer. A GOOD offer.
More phone calls. Every major point in that eventual 14 page contract was hammered out that afternoon in a back-and-forth of agent/publisher, agent/me exchanges. (And those 14 pages are in tiny type, single spaced. They are dense with every possible thing that could happen.) By the time I went to bed, I had a two-book deal. I celebrated with my immediate family but couldn’t spread the news. It had to be kept secret until Publisher’s Weekly announced it two weeks later.
My editor (I suddenly had en editor! Wow!!) sent me an email that evening, after the deal was done, with the subject line: “WHEEEE-E-E!”
Yeah, that’s how I felt too. I’m still in awe that she felt the same way.
So, a question for Deb readers: What don’t you read?
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