Every writer who has ever sent their completed manuscript off to an editor always fears rejection. And I was no exception. It didn’t matter that my agent told me my book was great and exactly what the publishing house was seeking. It didn’t matter that my mother, a published author who planted the writing seed in my brain once I left work to be a stay at home mom, told me I would sell. I still held my breath every time I opened my inbox, hoping I wouldn’t see that rejection letter.
But a part of me, the dreamer part, envisioned the exact opposite. I thought about the phone call from my agent telling me I just sold my first book and what I would say in response. I thought about who I would call first, how I would share the news with my loved ones, and what we would do to celebrate. I mean, c’mon, it’s not every day a person finds out they’re going to be a published author.
So when the call finally came, it was actually an email. I was out doing errands with Momoo (my eighty year old grandmother who lives with me) and we had stopped to get a quick lunch. My iPhone pinged and there was the email from my agent with the subject line “Offer.” I looked back and forth from my pocket sized screen to my grandma who was dripping soup all down her blouse and I couldn’t even process either.
I handed Momoo some napkins and called my mom. She asked what the email said and I told her I wasn’t exactly sure because I was too excited to read it through. She offered to read it to me but I told her I was stunned, not illiterate. I called my husband as we paid the bill and asked him what it felt like to sleep next to a published author. Then I blushed and ducked my head as I realized the table full of mechanics on their lunch break had just heard my question. I fired off a quick and barely legible reply to my agent and, when I looked at the clock, I realized I was running late and we had more errands to do.
I sent out hurried text messages to my four brothers and all my close friends in between my stops at the post office, library, beauty parlor (for Momoo), and the bank right before making it to the school in time for pick-up. I was overwhelmed, but I was excited…right up until the point when my kids got in the car. My nine year old did his best impression of Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, listing every possible complaint he could think of. My five year old had a tummy ache and, according to him, the only thing that would make it go away was a bowl of ice cream and me sitting next to him to wwatch the entire Lego Batman movie.
Apparently, neither of my children and none of my pending housework realized I’d just experienced the amazing, life-changing news most authors longed for. It was my first lesson that no matter how important I might think I am, life goes on and someone still has to make the meatloaf…