WHEEEE-E-E! by Deb Emily

Emily Winslow by Jonathan PlayerThe 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?

16 Replies to “WHEEEE-E-E! by Deb Emily”

  1. What a thrilling story.. and I’ve heard great things about your editor, so you’re obviously in very good hands. Wheeee-e-e pretty much sums up that “Oh my God I sold a book!” feeling, doesn’t it?

  2. That’s a great question. There is much less that I don’t read after being a book blogger for almost two years now. Two years ago I’d have told you mysteries, horror, westerns, scifi, fantasty, and romance. Now it is pretty much down to westerns and horror, although I’m still wary with those other genres, I’m likely pick them up if they are from a source I trust (say…the Debs), or recommended by a reader/blogger I trust.

  3. Two books! Very exciting indeed. I agree with Jacqui – the blow by blow was fun to read.

    To answer the survey question: I try to remain open to reading pretty much anything that comes my way.

  4. YEA, YEA, YEA!!! I am so psyched to hear about Bantam! And did I say? “Yea!!!!

    What don’t *I* read? As a bookseller, not much. But there are two exceptions:

    1. Horror. I live alone, and the dog gets freaked out if I hide under the bed.

    2. Let-us-now-praise-famous-men type books. I know, “John Adams” was great. And that whole slew of Lincoln stuff that came out for the anniversary… But I just can’t. Dunno why. Was a history major. Still… Maybe it’s the voice? Or the (not infrequent) lack of humor. If the subject of a historical biography is being trashed, at least it’s sort of interesting – but the thoughtful and considered examination of a great man’s life just makes me long for a nap these days. Shallow of me? Yeah.

    p.s. Yea!

  5. Actually, like Joelle, sometimes I have a hard time with icky stuff. And I tend to give up on very depressing reads that make me feel hopeless, unless I know there’s ultimately a heartening message within, or some other kind of satisfying payoff. This is an interesting question, thanks Emily!

  6. I love these answers so far!

    And disclaimer: This is our week for describing how we got our book deals for our books that come out in 2010. My bad for not being more clear that I’m not describing a new deal! No, this is the same old deal. But I still feel like “WHEE-E-E!” 🙂

  7. Emily, I love your comment, “same old deal,” which is definitely a “WHEE-E-E.” What also caught my attention was how long that day must have been for you, but it probably passed by in a snap.

    Definitely NOT an “icky” book reader along with tales of dogs or other animals because, well…most always die. *sigh*

  8. I got a similar e-mail along the lines of SO EXCITED which is lovely to think that our editors can be excited, too!

    I’ll read anything anyone recommends to me except yes, probably horror (though, I went through a prolonged Stephen King phase and I could be talked back into reading him). And no one’s recommended a western to me in, oh, ever. I’d try one, though.

    Certain books I have to “work up” to, emotionally.

    The author of COLUMBINE was just in my town, in fact I was signing books two seats away from him. He had a line of 100 people at his table and I was asked if I’ve read his book. That’s another one that I’m sure is brilliant and illuminating but I just…can’t. Not now.

    For the same reason I haven’t been able to read THE LOVELY BONES yet.

  9. To clarify: Columbine [the book] is *amazing*. But I can understand not wanting to “go there” [mentally].

    There. I think that makes more sense!

  10. I actually covered Columbine as a newspaper reporter and wrote about a young man who was transformed because he acted heroically – putting his life in danger – to save many others. But I haven’t read the book, and I don’t think I will. Like Joelle, I find it really hard to get painful and visual images out of my mind.

    I’m not reading much history lately but I want to start!

  11. What a great twist on the usual question. I don’t read much sci-fi or fantasy. My husband loves it, and I’ve picked up a few, but most aren’t my cuppa.

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