Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Call!

And so here it is...
The post I have been wanting to write ever since I first started this blog back in autumn 2010; after the first New Voices competition, after I decided I was really going to take writing seriously.
I was in Northumberland. A place with incredible beaches, picturesque castles, breathtaking scenery and a really, really infrequent 3G signal. The cottage I was staying in had no wifi and the strongest 3G signal was to be found in the sitting room, standing by the window (or sat on the sofa waving your phone in the air. I think my arm muscles are much strengthened after a week of phone-waving).
It was Thursday and I had received a very exciting email - Tatty Devine's final summer sale reductions. As my birthday is rapidly approaching I decided on the direct approach. I told the friend I was holidaying with (*waves to @nellbelleandme*) what I wanted, she relayed this to my husband and he then attempted to buy it over the wavering 3G network. This meant we were very late leaving for the beach.
I had of course seen that Flo Nicoll was making a Very Important Call that day and couldn't help allowing myself a tiny twinge of hope. I therefore had to keep competing with my present-buying husband for the 3G hotspot so I could refresh my Twitter feed and see if there was any news.
There wasn't.
So off we set; me, husband, 9yo, @nellbelleandme's eldest daughter and the pup on a trip to Low Newton beach. This is my favourite beach in the UK.

Perfect for paddling, castle views, rockpools and a pub. Just as I was pulling off the A1 my phone rang.
Silence in the car. We all knew that Flo was making A Very Important Call that day. And it was a London number.
My husband answered - and put Flo on speakerphone.
There was no way I was going to be able to drive safely and have any kind of conversation so I swung, a little wildly, into a farm track and jumped out of the car. To be very honest I can remember very little about the actual conversation - I think I kept saying 'thank you!' and 'Oh my goodness' a lot. But the gist was that they wanted to buy both books I had under consideration and Flo was offering me a contract!
Cue shaking, tears and a lot of squealing, especially from the girls ('Mummy, can we go to Disneyland now? You said if you ever got published we could...') and the pup who didn't understand why I was pacing up and down a lovely green path and he had to sit in the car. But eventually I pulled myself together enough to drive, very slowly, to the beach.
I then had to walk to the top of a hill like the worst kind of tourist to find somewhere I could tweet from!
I still have a suspicion I dreamt the whole thing - the Call, and a Northumbrian day warm enough to actually swim in the sea seems like far too much good luck for one person. Luckily Flo has sent me an email so I have proof. And all the details I didn't take in during the Call.
I don't have a title or a name yet (mine is already taken) but I do have a release date and a line - I'll fill you in just as soon as I have actually signed the contract! I am thrilled with the line they have put me in and can't wait to start working with Mills and Boon. It's been my dream ever since I was a teenager to write romance for them.
And now I am!


Scarlet Wilson said...

Huge congratulations, call story's are my favourite blogs. Welcome to the family!

Morton S Gray said...

Hi Jessica,

Your post made me cry! Well done. I've known you since that first New Voices comp and it is lovely to see the competitions one by one getting published. It gives me just a little hope and a big kick up the backside. Enjoy! Mx

Rose Red said...

Thank you Scarlet, I am utterly thrilled to be joining you all.

And thank you for such a lovely comment, Morton, I'm sorry I made you cry! New Voices has been responsible for so many friendships and support it's incredible. X

Christy McKellen said...

Huge congratulations!!! A fantastic way to get the Call with all your family around you! Welcome to the team, looking forward to getting to know you! x Christy x

Charlotte Phillips said...

I'm so thrilled for you!!! Such a fab call story, I am smiling over my coffee xx

Jennifer Faye said...

Huge congrats! I'm so happy for you. :-) And I loved your call story! Thanks for sharing. :-)

Rose Red said...

Thanks so much for such lovely congratulations and welcomes x

Fran Thompson said...

Many many congratulations, I am so very proud of you. Mum xx

Imelda Evans said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful story! Enjoy every minute of your celebrations.

lindsayjpryor said...

YESSSSSS!!!! I have been so waiting for this moment for you. HUGE congrats!! I'm utterly thrilled to bits for you. No more hippos wallowing in the mud. You've done it! Enjoy! I can't wait to read more of what's to come for you. X


What a wonderful call story. I really enjoyed it. Congratulations