Thursday, January 26, 2006


Image hosting by Photobucket In writing circles, there is something known as The Call. Capitals. Might even be THE CALL, accompanied by shrieking and jumping up and down if you're female and arrogant, smug satisfaction if you're male. "I received The Call." The call from an editor offering you your first book contract -- sometimes relayed by agents. I'd imagine they get a charge, too.

Yes, today is the 5th anniversary of The Call, for HeartMate...but not the 5th anniversary of when I actually knew about The Call...the story is this...

In November 2000 I'd HAD it with writing for publication. I was tired of struggling in the evenings after work and spending the weekends crafting my stories. I knew I'd keep writing, and HeartMate was at HardShell, a small press, and Berkley (manuscript once thought lost as Penguin Putnam munched Berkley Jove), but writing was NOT going to dominate all my free time.

I don't remember to check my voice mail every day, so it was Superbowl Sunday and I was washing my comforter and doing other things, sighing in relief at the freedom to accomplish tasks in my own time instead of cramming them in between work, writing, critique...Well, the air vent suckers were supposed to call me and set up an appointment to come on Monday (thus the cleaning of the house, you know how particular those air vent suckers are), I'd been vacuuming, then taking out several sacks of garbage and decided to check my messages in case the guy called.

It was THE CALL. "I don't usually leave messages like this on answering machines, but I really enjoyed HeartMate and want to make you an offer for it." NO! Listen again. And again. In between pants, start calling my critique buddies, first Sharon Mignerey, "Sharon," gasp, "Sharon...." I don't recall what I said but it went something like "gobble, pant, gobble, spit, gobble, spit, spit, hyperventilated breathing."

"Robin, has something happened to your Mom?" asks a concerned Sharon.

"Berkley!" I shriek. We talk. I get on-line and INSIST everyone in my on-line crit croup (Romance Writers Unlimitd) come to the chat room. There I yell, faint, and generally carry on (love those emoticons).

At the end of the day, I put away the brass-rubbing that I'd knocked from the stairwell wall as I'd staggered up, breaking the frame. I notice that my cat Maddox (insisting on being called "The Cover Cat") has groomed himself on my nice, clean, beige comforter and left little tufts of black hair all over it.

My world shifted, but basically, life went on.

Superstitiously, I've never reframed or rehung the brass rubbing. There's an obvious space in the line up.

May your writing be filled with excitement today.

Love to all,


Blogger Judson Knight said...

Great post, Robin! And particularly timely from the Agency perspective, because I was just over at the office oohing and aahing over your framed cover flats. Elaine did a great job of getting them framed, and placed them on the wall beside Samantha's desk. When I saw this little shrine to Robin Owens (and we have other little "shrines" to other authors throughout the office), I said, "She'll love seeing this when she comes to visit us."

As for "The Call," that was also a timely subject inasmuch as I was just thinking the other night about the Zen-like way that good fortune so often eludes us when we're working hard for it, only to creep up on us when our attention is turned elsewhere. There are more stories in this world of people--not just writers, artists, and entertainers, but political leaders and others--who considered themselves out of the game, only to find that their brightests moments lay in the future.

Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 12:32:00 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing, Robin. It helps all of us still waiting on "the call" keep up the faith! :)

Friday, January 27, 2006 at 9:52:00 AM EST  
Blogger Isabelle Santiago said...

What an encouraging post! I think many times, it can be tough, to work so hard, and not see any results. Not get any feedback in the sense of the worth of your work. Either way, THE CALL is something we all wait for, and its something that makes us proud, when we see the our fellow authors succeeding. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 1:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger Janice Lynn said...

Robin! Great post! Your excitement shined through and made me relive a few moments of my own "the call"! Thanks for the smile & happy day!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 4:28:00 PM EST  
Blogger FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Thanks a lot, all. Sorry I didn't check this sooner. Judson, I have a shrine of my ex-roomie is an interior designer and has framed all my cover flats (and a poster of HeartMate) and done a terrific job, herself...fabric frames or inside...etc. And since Heart Thief's cover changed a couple of times, she did a shadowbox for the book!

Thanks again,

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 6:48:00 AM EST  
Blogger Ronie Kendig said...

"Sharon," gasp, "Sharon...." I don't recall what I said but it went something like "gobble, pant, gobble, spit, gobble, spit, spit, hyperventilated breathing."

ROTFL! That's hilarious! Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 1:36:00 PM EST  
Blogger Karmela said...

Great story Robin, and so lucky that you got The Call left on the answering machine. If that happens to me, I will forever preserve the recording and upload it into my iPod to be played forever and ever ad infinitum. And beyond.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 10:59:00 AM EST  

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