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Friday, December 07, 2007

My Golden Heart Call

In 2003, the calls went out early. I remember it was the last weekend of Spring Break and I was NOT ready to go back to work. I told my dh that I would likely be down the next week because the Golden Heart calls were going out and since it was my first time to enter, I was not likely to get a call, no matter how much I believed in Hot Shot.

Less than an hour later, shortly before 11 AM, my dh answered the phone and handed it over. The woman (to this day, I don't know who it was) told me Hot Shot finalled in the Golden Heart.

I didn't hear anything else she said. All I could think of was that I had to get off the phone to call my cp and email everyone else I knew. THIS WAS IT, the opportunity I needed. I'd been in RWA for 6 years at that point and never had a book I felt as strongly about. Hot Shot had won Where the Magic Begins the previous summer, which had given me the confidence to enter the GH.

After I hung up with the nameless lady and told my husband and started making plans for going to NYC for conference, I called my mom, my cp (who told me my career was made - I will never forget the high hopes I had after that first final) and emailed everyone I knew. I got phone calls the rest of the day, from people who also thought my career was made. I learned about the GH loop, which I glued myself to the rest of the weekend, learning about dresses and pins and appointments, meeting these other lucky and talented women, getting to know them. Some names I recognized, like Trish Milburn and Stephanie Rowe, from other contest finals and other loops. Most women I didn't know at all. However, I started getting an inkling that the GH wasn't the Golden Ticket I'd thought when I met women who had finalled before and still hadn't sold.

Monday when I got home from my first day back at school, my pin was waiting for me. Honestly, you would have thought it was, well, an Emmy or something ;) I wore it all week, even though the people at my school had no idea of the implication.

I was treated like a princess at our chapter's conference a few weeks later.

I've received three other GH calls since then - the next year also for Hot Shot, at school, where I had to wait for her to call me back, two years after that, on my cell at school because the call had come early enough for my dh to be home and give the caller my cell, and last year, when Trish called me RIGHT at noon to let me know (How she kept that secret, I will NEVER know.)- but none match the sweetness of that spring day in March 2003.

As for the OTHER call, I haven't gotten that yet, but I've gotten two EMAILS, both very sweet and exciting - plus you can read them over and over!

Hot Shot has been through the wringer, but will finally come out from Samhain in 2008!!!


At 7:44 AM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Perseverance, baby! What a great story- I can just feel your excitement. Can't wait to read your release in 08!

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Norah Wilson said...

I can't wait for Hot Shot either, Mary.

Ladies, Mary writes just the kind of high adventure, high octane romance I love to read, and I've been shaking my head for years why some editor hadn't grabbed her up and put those stories on bookstore shelves. God bless Samhain for recognizing it.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Yours has been a rocky road, Mary, and shows that this business is NOT easy, not even for the deserving!
But Hot Shot has found a home in Samhain and ALL IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD!!
I am so happy for you.

At 10:14 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

You know I'm really excited you sold Hot Shot! There's nothing quite like that first GH call either.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Lee McKenzie said...

Mary, I can't wait to read Hot Shot. I've been shaking my head just as Norah has, and I'm so thrilled you found an editor who recognizes excellence.

At 5:43 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

I don't remember who called for my first GH final, either. Also, I was so new to RWA, and so ignorant, that I didn't have any idea what a big deal it was. In retrospect, I could tell the gal was waiting for me to squeal, ask questions, or SOMETHING, but I just thanked her politely and said goodbye. What a putz.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Santa said...

Congrats on having you book published!

And thanks for sharing such a great story of keeping at it until 'the call' comes in!

I just made PRO status which means I finally get to learn the secret handshake!


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