Monday, December 17, 2012

Be cool, be yourself, and say, "That's wonderful!" as much as possible OR Leah Rae Miller's "The Call" post

So this is going to be a quick post because Stefanie, Kelsey, and Heather have pretty much summed it up. Getting "The Call" is vomit-inducing, sweat-causing, and all-round-mind-erasing. You work hard, you put yourself on the chopping block, and hope against all odds that this will happen. And when it does, no amount of planning will prepare you (at least, that's been my observation).

When I received the email that said Heather Howland wanted to schedule a phone call to talk about The Summer I Became a Nerd, I was, of course, flabbergasted. All I could think was that there must be something wrong. She couldn't possibly want my book! There's no way she's going to want it. And even when I responded to that email with, "I'm completely free tomorrow. So, let's say any time after 10 central time, whenever you get ready," it still felt unreal. (Hint: "any time after" whatever time sucks, just so you know. I hovered over my phone for a couple of hours just getting more and more tense by the second. A specific set time would have saved me so much stress.)

Like the others said, I had my little list of questions, although I was talking to an editor, not an agent, so some of them were different. I had a list of the other stories I was working on pulled up on my computer. Then the phone rang and I scrambled to get my note pad (at the top of the list of questions, my husband had wrote "Be cool. Be yourself." which was super sweet). 

And to my surprise, Heather did not sound like a female Disney cartoon villain. I expected her to sound extremely proper and maybe even British, for some reason. Instead, she sounded... Normal. 

She jumped into telling me how much she loved my book, which is one of the best things to hear... Ever. Evereverever. And after a nice long conversation where I said, "That's wonderful," a million times (that isn't even a phrase I use often, but boy, that day it was), she officially offered to sign this book.

And here's the thing: I'd done my research on Entangled. I knew what they were all about. And I knew that this is where I wanted to be. It felt like they were on the precipice of something huge and I wanted to stand on that cliff, too, then take the plunge with them. Yeah, I'm taking a different route, but I'm totally confident in it. It's like what the other ladies have said. It's a matter of going with the person with whom you're comfortable. The person who loves your work and wants to share it with the world as much as you do. Go with your gut, realize that agents (and editors) are people, too, and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Born and raised in northern Louisiana, Leah Rae Miller still lives there on a windy hill with her husband and kids. She loves comic books, lava lamps, fuzzy socks, and Cherry Coke. She spends most of her days reading things she likes and writing things she hopes other people will like. Her YA novel, THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD, releases Summer 2013 from Entangled Teen. You can add it on Goodreads here!

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