Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Are You Sitting Down?

And the winner of the $10 gift certificate from Barnes and Noble, the pack of note cards and the autographed copy of Divorced, Desperate and Delicious is... Kimmie! Kimmie, please visit my website, www.Christie-Craig.com, and send me an email with your snail mail address and I'll get your prize out to you ASAP. Congrats!

Crime Scene Christie


I got the email from Gemma a while back, suggesting that for Killer Fiction’s anniversary week, we all blog about our “call” stories.My first thought was, “Sounds great.” Although, I think I might have blogged about that before.

Then a little voice in my head—a voice which had been forbidden to speak—fought to free itself from the dungeon of my mind, “But you’ve never blogged about the first ‘call’ story.”
Oh, no, I hadn’t ever blogged about it. I had, for apparent reasons, tried to bury the memory beneath cement, had barred the memory from my mind, and vowed to never, ever, let it become public knowledge. Of course, that vow was made before . . . before I got to that place in my life that I decided that there were no secrets, no shame, that where my career and fans were concerned, their was nothing I couldn’t, wouldn’t talk about.

Yes, I sort of have two calls stories—there’s the recent one that brought me back into novel publishing, and it’s motivational, inspiration.
Most recent call—2006
I’d been entering unpublished novel contests, and after several wins, I’d snagged the interest of an agent. She had been sending some of my work out to publishers and I was still entering contests trying to get some editor’s attention. After another big win in a contest, I had my hopes up that I might be getting the call soon. And then it came early one morning before I even got dressed. My agent asked, “Are you sitting down?” (Take note that all publishing professionals like to ask this question.)

Heart racing, I replied, “I’ve been waiting for this for six years. I can take it standing up.” (Looking back, this response may have been due to my past ‘call’ experience.) “I’ve sold a book, haven’t I?”

Being a total New Yorker, her reply was quick. “No. You haven’t a sold a book. “The thought that ran through my head was . . .shoot me now. I mean I was so ready for it to happen, and from my agent’s tone, I just knew I had finally arrived.Then my agent continued, “You’ve sold four.”

Breathless and in my southern drawl, I answered, “I need to sit down.”
First call—1993
I’d been writing for nine years, I’d even finaled in the Golden Heart Contest with my novel, Two Hearts Too Late, a sweet romance targeted to the Silhouette Romance line. The book didn’t sell, but I knew it had promise. So, a few years after it made the GH awards, I rewrote it from page one, and when I was six chapters into it, I entered it into another contest. An editor from Silhouette was the judge and if you finaled, you actually got to chat with the editor at the conference.
I was one of the lucky finalists, and the afternoon before the awards ceremony, I remember the sophisticated editor looking at me all serious-like and saying, “I want to read the rest of this book. I really, really like this story.”

I remember thinking she was just being nice.

Later that night at the awards ceremony, I was awarded first place. And it hit me, wow, she really did like my story.In a couple of months, manuscript complete, I packaged my 240 page story along with my hopes and dreams, and I sent the package to her. Sure, I was excited, but I wasn’t holding my breath. I’d heard of other writers getting this close and then getting the big rejection that hits you right in the gut. Hmm…speaking of gut pain…
Several months passed and I received a letter that simply said she had read it, liked it a lot, and had passed it to the senior editor. Okay, my hopes grew, I held my breath just a little bit, but I reminded myself how easy it was for those hopes to get flushed down the toilet. And speaking of toilets…
The day the call in, I was running around the house; my son, a toddler at the time, and my older daughter had both been hit with a stomach virus. Hubby was supposed to get some medicine on his way home from work, which he was about to walk out of the office. He’d called to get the med’s information—we didn’t do cell phones back then—but his boss had walked into his office, and hubby not wanting to discuss diarrhea meds with his boss in the room, said, “I’ll call you back in just a second.”
Well, of course, that’s when my stomach suddenly started rolling, I didn’t have a second to wait. Phone, still in hand, I ran.
One minute later, the phone rings. No, I didn’t have caller ID—and yes, like an idiot I answered it, certain it was my husband. “You’d better hurry,” I said. “Now I’ve got it.”
“Excuse me,” said this voice with a New York accent. “Is Christie Craig in?”Maybe I should have lied and said she was indisposed. Maybe I should have just told the truth and said she was presently sitting on the pot, bare-bottomed, a wad of toilet paper in one hand, and a phone in the other, but nope, I didn’t.
“This is her,” I said.“Hi Christie, this is Risa, from Silhouette Romance.”
My heart started to flutter, right along with my intestines. Then in a very sophisticated voice she asked, “Are you sitting down?”
“As a matter of fact I am,” I answered.
So there you have it, my embarrassing publication call story that I swore I’d never tell. Now doesn’t it seem like fate that I use just a little potty humor in my books?
Okay…you guys know we are giving away prizes this week, right? So today one lucky poster will win a $10 gift certificate from Barnes & Noble bookstore, a pack of the “new” note cards, and a signed copy of my book, Divorced, Desperate and Delicious. So come on, post away. Share an embarrassing story or just offer a few sympathies to me for telling my own embarrassing story.
But post!
Crime Scene Christie

79 comments:

Faye Hughes said...

Yanno, I think this is a first. Getting "the call" while sitting on a john. LOL.

Love it, girl, and happy anniversary!

Faye

Linda C said...

Christie, So funny you made my day. I'm not a writer per say unless you count budgets and spreadsheets however, I do have a "toliet" story. My husband and I had gone out to eat at the neighborhood "pub". I had a glass of wine and a very greasy rubin sandwich. A friend stopped by and we proceeded to have a few more drinks. The entertainment started and we had a few more.

Later that night I had to get up to pray to the procelin god. Our then 10 month old kitten loved to watch the water swirl in the toliet when you flushed it. So here I am hanging over the toliet with a cat looking in also and my husband walks in take it all in. I have yet to live this down.

Next time I am locking the door. LOL

Linda C

Karin said...

At least you got a positive call. I was told in college that I wrote like a GI barber - end of writign!

Karin said...

Sorry, writing - I was so excited I forgot a major rule - SPELL CHECK EVERYTHING!

bookworm said...

Oh you poor thing! But what a story, that one is hard to beat. I'm sure you can look back at it now and laugh, but at the time.....no laughing matter. Congrats on your success, you've done very well!

Shari C said...

Let's say a few years ago (not mentioning how many years) when I turned 21 a few of my friends and I went out to celebrate my birthday. We went to dinner and then to the bar to have a drink. We all sat at the bar and I had a glass of beer. Then my friends bought me a second glass of beer and after drinking about half of it, I fell sound asleep with my head on the bar...very dignified...right. I woke up a few minutes later and was so embarrassed as the bar was packed with people, but did find out I am not a beer drinker at least. None of my friends have ever let me forget my big night of drinking while celebrating my birthday.

Thanks for your story. It is nice to know others also have such embarrassing moments.

Mel Francis said...

that's funny as sh... That's funny.

Love it.

Karen H in NC said...

I don't think anything can top your 'On the Throne' call...that is priceless. Sounds like that commercial, doesn't it?

terrio said...

I'm so glad I finished my bagel before I read this. I would have choked for sure.

Only you. LOL! And I admire the guts it took to tell the story. I'm bad about answering the phone while doing the business. In fact, on the way to the conference in San Fran my phone rang while using the airport facilities. Like a nitwit I answered it to have one of my conf roomies ask, "What are you doing?" So I told her. Then passed the phone under the door to another friend. LOL!

I don't care where you were sitting, I'm just glad you got THE call!

Kimberly Frost said...

From the FIRST CALL story...

"Are you sitting down?"
"As a matter of fact I am."

Oh, Christie, I howled with laughter! You always crack me up, but that one takes the cake.

Gram said...

The first call (second story) was priceless. You surely deserve all the awards you can win.

Gemma Halliday said...

*snork* Only you, Christie.

But, how cool are you that you have TWO call stories?!

~Gemma

CrystalGB said...

Bless your heart Christie. What an interesting call story.

flip said...

Honestly, no toliet stories. I do have a bath story. Once during one of my baths, my eldest child led a posse of neighborhood kids into the bathroom to ask me for permission to do something.

Meljprincess said...

LOL! Christie. On pot when you got that "call". Tsk, tsk...*g*

Seems the toilet always rings when one is on the throne. I always take the phone with me. I've learned my lesson. Hee.

Mel K.

Anne J said...

Definite symphony on the GI bug.

Anne j said...

symphony, sympathy, whichever. Both fit in a round about way.

Maureen said...

That is a great story and I don't think anyone who has raised children hasn't gone through the family stomach virus. When we were moving to our house my two kids and I had it. The kids were sick that morning and I literally rolled up the dirty sheets and moved them to our house and washed them as we were moving things in.

Kristi said...

I don't have a potty story; but yours was hysterical. At least you got the call right?

Christie Craig said...

Faye,

It's just my luck, I guess.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Hey,

The cat was just holding your hand.

Too funny, Linda.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Karin,

But girl, I got too many rejections before hand. Don't let those stop you. If you want to write, just keep going.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Karin,

No points taken off for spelling by me!!

I'm a terrible speller. Thank gawd for spell check!

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Bookworm,

Yup, I can now laugh about it. But in my younger years, I would have died before telling it.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Shari C,

Oh goodness, we do learn our lessons, don't we. I can tell yoy that if I were your friend, I'd tease you about it too.

Hey, what are friends for?

Thanks for sharing!

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Mel Frances,

It was exactly that funny!!! Or maybe, exactly NOT that funny. :-)

Thanks for stopping by.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Karen H in NC,

Hey, after the call I did sort of feel like a queen--bad stomach and all!!!

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Terrio,

Oh goodness, you are too funny girl!!!

And yes, the call is great to get. And here's hoping yours comes very soon. On the throne or not.

Crime Scene Christie

Minna said...

Well, there was for instance this one time when I was complaining about one of our teachers to my friend. And guess who passed us just then? And you could tell she had heard me...

Anonymous said...

Christie, you are amazing!

Mary M

Christie Craig said...

Kimberly,

I can laugh about it now, but I had my day when I would have died if anyone had known.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Gram,

Thanks girl and thanks for stopping by Killer Fiction.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Gemma,

Yes, I'm lucky, but I really wish the first one would have happened a tad different.

I remember one of my good friends, Colleen Thompsom, got her call while at a writer's conference. I had already gotten call number one and I was so jealous that mine had been a flush. I still hear her telling the story, and I always remember thinking how I could never tell my own story. I guess we get braver.

Thanks girl.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Crystalgb,

I guess you could call it interesting. All I can say is I did remember not to flush.

Thanks for stopping by.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Flip,

Oh goodness, I can just see you sitting there with a room full of kids. I hope you used bubble bath and the bubbles were still thick. :-) If not, can you imagine what they went home to tell their parents?

Thanks for posting.
Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Melprincess,

Yes, the phone does aways ring when you gotta go. And now with cell phones, hey, people never have to miss a call.

Too funny.

Thanks for stopping by.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Anne J,

That's not tune I like to carry!!

Thanks for posting.
Crime Scene Christie

Anonymous said...

Christie, you are amazing!

Mary M

Christie Craig said...

Maureen,

I hate that bug, but it does seem to catch all of us. But moving must have been difficult. Hmm...I guess you could say you guys christened the house. :-)

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Kristi,

Yup, I would have liked for it to be pretty, but I'm so glad it came in.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Minna,

Ohhh, getting caught by your teachers can't be good.

Thanks for sharing and posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Mary M,

Thank you!! I didn't feel too amazing that day, but it was all a flush. :-)

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Tori Lennox said...

Oh heavens! You poor thing!!!

Christie Craig said...

Tori,

I remember after the bug passed, I kept wondering if I'd imagined it during my virus-induced daze.

Thanks for posting girl.

Crime Scene Christie

Wendy said...

Haha, that's such a great story!

Suzan Harden said...

These things only happen to you, girl!

cas2ajs said...

Hilarious! Thanks for the chuckle. You just made my day a lot brighter.

Cheryl S.

Christie Craig said...

Wendy,

Well, over ten years later, I can tell the story, without turning tomato red, and chuckle about it. But seriously, I swore I'd never tell a soul for the longest time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Suzan,

It must be the company I keep!

Thanks for stopping by.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Cas2ajs,

I'm glad I gave you a smile!!

Thanks for visiting Killer Fiction.

Crime Scene Christie

Keri Ford said...

Goodness, Christie! You couldn't even jump and down like a total moron! ;O)

(leave me out of the drawing, I have DD&D and loved it!)

Christie Craig said...

Keri,

Nope, jumping up and down wasn't an option at the time. :-)

Thanks so much for posting. And girl, hey, there's that $10 B&N card.

Take care,

CC

Jeanette J said...

Weel, you didn't lie...and thanks for the giggle.

Wendy Roberts said...

LOL! Christie this was the BEST call story I ever heard.

anne said...

Thanks for this entertaining and great start to my day. Unique and memorable for sure.

Christie Craig said...

Jeanette,

I'm thrilled I made you smile.

Thanks for stopping by at Killer Fiction.

Crime Scene Christie

Terry S said...

Happy Anniversary! Thanks for sharing your call stories. Writing the 2nd story first made the 1st story even funnier. It just flowed (no pun intended.)

I'll never forget nursing my daughter in the middle of the night with all the lights off (so daddy could snooze) when the nausea hit. So there I am holding her, hanging over the toilet, losing everything in my stomach.....and she laughed and laughed. She laughed so much she woke daddy. She couldn't see a thing but mom sure could make neat noises in the dark :)

Estella said...

Congrats on your success!

Christie Craig said...

Thanks Wendy!

I think I would have preferred a call at a writer's conference or maybe during a dinner out with friends.

But hey, we take what we get, right?

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Anne,

Thanks for stopping by. Yup, it's memorable. I know, I've tried to forget for years and it won't go away.

Thanks for helping us celebrate our first birthday.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Terry S.,

Thanks so much for stopping in. I love your story. Too funny. I can see a baby just laughing at the strange noises.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Estella,

Thanks. I still have to pinch myself.

Crime Scene Christie

ruth said...

Enjoyed your story which helped me manage my long day. Congrats on all your success and future writing.

Christie Craig said...

Thank you Ruth.

Join us often at Killer Fiction for a good laugh and a peek at the lighter side of life.

Crime Scene Christie

Dru said...

That is too funny. I love when she said no to one but yes to four. That must have been priceless.

The first one, too darn funny.

Christie Craig said...

Dru,

Thanks for stopping in.

You know nothing ever seems funny at the time, but looking back . . .

Crime Scene Christie

Amy S. said...

The only embarrassing story I can think of is when I fell asleep in class. I woke up to everyone looking at me. I asked my friend why they were, and he told me that the teacher had realized I was asleep. She had brought one of her big textbooks by my desk and dropped it, expecting it to wake me up. It didn't wake me, but the bell did. lol.

Jana DeLeon said...

ROFLOL, Christie! "are you sitting down" - Priceless.

Kammie said...

hahaha! What a funny story! Thanks for the evening smile after a long, tough day at work. I'm glad you shared and it's nice that you have two call stories to tell. I'm just a reader and can't imagine what it's like to have to wait for the phone to ring..no matter where your at. lol

catslady said...

Isn't it amazing how your mind goes blank when asked to tell something embarrassing lol. Great first call story and since it wasn't me, I'll remember.

Christie Craig said...

Amy S.

Lol. I was certain you were going to say you were snoring.

Thanks for sharing and posting.

Come back and visit us often.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Jana,

I was sitting down then!

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Kammie,

It's not easy waiting for the call. It's sort of like waiting for the call to get invited to the Prom.

Thanks for posting. Come back often.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Catslady,

I think it's a bit too amazing. :-)

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Virginia said...

The only thing I can think of was when my son was about 3 years old. My sister always called cats pussies. So one time we were in a large pet shop and he start saying very loudly hey mommie come and see all of these little pussies. I would say ok son I see them please be quite. He just wouldn't shut up look at these little pussies over and over again. Needless to say I was very embarrassed.

Tracy Madison said...

LOL, Christie! I loved reading about both your call stories.

Christie Craig said...

Virginia,

Lol. Oh goodness, those kids can really get us in trouble, can't they?

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Hi Tracy!

So good to see you pop in. Everyone, Tracy is a new Dorchester author.

Thnaks for posting girl.

Crime Scene Christie

Ms Terry in Gadsden said...

All i can say right now is LOL

and to everyone else . if you think she is funny by reading her post and her books you just got to see her in person. You might just wet your pants. LOL