“The Call”
by Gayle Callen

Okay, so I didn’t get “The Call” recently. But NEVER MARRY A STRANGER (on sale 8/25/09) is my 20th published book and this is my tenth year of publication, so I’m feeling a little nostalgic.

For those of you who haven’t desperately tried to sell a book, “The Call” is when an editor offers to purchase your manuscript. It is a day that no writer forgets. It took me 13 long years and three completed manuscripts before I sold, so I had been waiting for that magic moment a long time. It was January 22, 1998, and my agent told me the good news at 2:45 in the afternoon. See, I remember everything!

And another reason it’s so easy to remember is because I was the mom hosting my son’s high school swim team for dinner that night. Twenty-six starving young men. I received a message to call my agent when I was in the middle of grocery shopping. When I arrived home, I called her back (at 2:45) and heard the wonderful news that Avon had offered to buy not just the completed book I’d submitted, but a second as well.

I was stunned and overjoyed as I waited for my new editor to call me. But could I savor it? Nope. I spent the rest of the afternoon with the phone crooked between my head and shoulder as I talked to my husband and family while cooking four pans of ziti, making salad, and finding places in my house for 26 teenagers to spread out.

When the boys descended, I was too busy to think anymore about my burgeoning writing career. But I have a great memory of the house becoming quiet several hours later, then sitting down on the couch next to my husband and just staring at each other. Life would never be the same.

NEVER MARRY A STRANGER, which hits the shelves August 25, is the next step in the journey that started that day. It’s the third book in the “Sons of Scandals” trilogy. Matthew is thought dead in the first two books but now returns from the war to find Emily, who’s been posing as his wife. Would a good hero expose her and thereby expose his whole family to scandal? Heck no! He pretends he has amnesia from his war injuries where his wife is concerned. He’ll figure out the truth while Emily is desperately trying to show him what a good wife she can be.

So how did you feel when something you’d wanted for so long finally happened to you?


Anonymous Melody Thomas said:

Gayle, what a wonderful story. I so remember my first call with almost the same detail. LOL August of 1999, about three weeks after the Chicago hot-as-blazes RWA conference that year. My book, My Lord Pirate, had been a Golden Heart finalist that year. It didn't win, but three weeks later my agent called with the news that Berkley wanted to buy the book. It was 9:30 on a Friday morning and I was sick as a dog, hacking and coughing more so after the news because I could barely breathe through the shock and excitement of it all. LOL Special moments are like a snapshot in my memories. Every vivid color and detail remembered. Congrats on your successful career. But then I am not surprised. You write awesome books. I'm looking forward to this next release of yours.

4:36 PM  

Anonymous Gayle Callen said:

Melody, you are such a doll! Great story--too bad you had to be sick through all the excitement!

4:40 PM  

Blogger Gwynlyn MacKenzie said:


Thanks for sharing your "call" story. So many times we think it's never going to happen for us, yet reading about those who've captured the brass ring recharges our dreams.

I can't wait to read Matthew's book!

4:58 PM  

Blogger StaceyC4 said:

Oh, that is the DREAM!!! I want "the Call"!

5:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What a lovely story! I'd love to share mine, but it hasn't happened yet. (Notice I did say yet - I believe in the power of positive thinking)

But I must admit the book sounds intriguing. Definitely putting it on my TBR list. Thanks for looking back and inspiring us unpubs. :)

Amy Talley

5:39 PM  

Blogger Holly Greenfield said:

Congratulations on 10 years of publications and a huge congrats on 20 books!! I loved your call story.

8:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The new book sounds as exciting as all of the others--can't wait for its release-----a rainy day, an afghan and a pot of tea! And as for the "the call"- even though I'm the newbie on the block, I will think positive. If you write, it will come. You've got to believe--at least that's what I've gleaned from one of most favorite authors. :-) Bump

8:14 PM  

Anonymous Gayle Callen said:

Thanks, Gwynlyn, hope you enjoy Never Marry a Stranger.

Stacey and Amy, keep writing to make your dreams come true!

Thanks, Holly. 20 books sometimes seems like a lot--then sometimes 10 years seems like yesterday. The Call is so fresh in my mind!

Bump, thanks for stopping by. Your perfect day to read sounds wonderful to me, too. And yep, gotta believe to make it happen!

9:43 PM  

Blogger Cari Quinn said:

I must have been reading your mind tonight, Gayle, because I just got done going through The Call stories on Kelley St. John's site, LOL

I loved your Call story. I had a little taste of what I've been working for this week, and it only made me want more. I'm greedy that way. ;)

Your new book sounds terrific and I'll be at the bookstore on Tuesday to pick it up!

10:37 PM  

Anonymous Gayle Callen said:

Thanks, Cari, I really appreciate it! Keep writing!

8:16 AM  

Blogger Miranda Neville said:

Congratulations on the 10/20 milestone. That's a lot of words written! Loved your story because it's such a great reminder that life goes on outside the weird and wonderful world of publishing.

6:50 PM  

Blogger Drena said:

It was wonderful to read about your success but I gave up on ever getting the 'call' and self published. I still have sseven books left to publish so you can see I am just getting started. I hope to be where you are standing some day. Best of luck to you. and I WILL be enjoying your book.

9:35 PM  

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