Your Future is Calling – Can You Hear Me Now? by Deb Mia

When a literary agent for GOOD THINGS called to offer me literary representation, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of Sears in Hilo, irritated beyond belief. For starters, I had made my husband and four-year old daughter drive all around the island in search of the right infant car seat (I was pregnant and on a mission). No luck. I was trying to save money by not ordering online (shipping is killer to Hawaii, a”non-contiguous” state which means that all the good deals don’t apply to us), but realized that I had pretty much blown any potential savings on gas, plus I had a grumpy, semi-car sick child in the back and a grumpy, semi-car sick spouse in the front. Great. Me and my big ideas strike again.

So when the lit agent called saying that she loved GOOD THINGS and wanted to represent it, I was both in shock and tremendously relieved. FINALLY. Now we could get this ball rolling. I had no doubt publication would come. I could sit back and relax.

But as one house after another passed (unfortunately I didn’t have a 24-hour turnaround story!), I began to have serious doubts. And I had ordered a car seat online, spending a part of my future advance. I began to feel desperate. My intuition had failed me. I had spent all this time on this damn manuscript and nobody was going to buy it, much less read it.

Then one day, I was standing in front of the magazine rack at KTA, our local grocery store. I was staring at the rack of mass market titles that sit next to the magazines, thinking, “GOOD THINGS would go great there.” I was feeling morose. A little mopey. A little depressed. But oddly confident that I wasn’t too far off base, despite the small pile of polite rejection letters.

And then my cell phone rang.

It was my agent, with an offer from Berkley. Leona Nevlar loved it. They wanted it. There would be an auction tomorrow (just kidding). But Leona, one of the best in the business, wanted it! She wanted, in fact, a sequel as well, which we would discuss separately from this deal. This deal. I had a deal!

I thought I would be prepared for this moment, but I wasn’t. I was elated. I was floored. I was stunned beyond belief. I had no idea what I was even doing in the grocery store before she called. Was I buying groceries? Did I have a cart? Was my daughter with me? Where did I park the car?

It was one of the best moments of my life.

9 Replies to “Your Future is Calling – Can You Hear Me Now? by Deb Mia”

  1. I love your post, Mia. This is such an uplifting example for other writers struggling to get published.

    One of my favorite sayings is: “Have faith. What is meant to be will always find a way.” And yet, I too have felt exactly that way while walking past a drop-down display of paperbacks in a drugstore, thinking, THE TIN BOX would fit here perfectly! What a rollercoaster ride this business can be, huh?

  2. I always find it interesting how easy it is to swing wildly from confident: of course someone will buy it to utter lack of confidence: no one is reading this and editors are using it to line the cat box. Almost every writer I know has these swings.

  3. Now that I’ve read this story, I can’t believe I didn’t get my call in Publix!! Perfect 😀

    *happy sigh* I really do love hearing these. Makes me feel all hopeful and childlike again!

  4. I loved your story. Those are amazing moments, aren’t they, when your world suddenly changes! I remember the “ah-ha” moments when my book partner and I were designing and writing and publishing our book.

    Well, I went for it! I pre-ordered four copies of Good Things from Amazon: one for me, for my mother, sister, and two close friends. Now you have to promise that you will write something special in the cover for each of these people, OK? I wanted to be the first on my block to have a copy! And I’m so excited that you will be coming to our Book Group in a few months. Is is true that you will be doing phone “conferences” with Book Groups all over the country when they choose your book to read? How can a Book Group sign up for this? My sister is in a Book Group in Colorado so I want to tell her how to sign up. Are you going to have a sort of online “party” here at the Debutante Ball?

    I’ve also been working on organizing my home and found myself wondering, “How would Deidre do this with style?” (Deidre is the main character in Good Things). For me, she has almost become a real person. And I guess her love of serving tea really fits with my love of serving tea and being a hostess.

  5. Wow, I never knew grocery shopping could be so exciting!! No, seriously, these moments are so sweet to read about. You just never know when something great will come your way. That’s the kind of thing that keeps me going sometimes when I’m feeling down. You just never know when something delightfully unexpected will come along to brighten up your life!

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