On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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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.

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 Jeri said...

Congrats, Robin! It's wonderful you can remember so many poignant details, right down to the brass rubbing and the cat fur on your comforter.

So I guess that ranks as your favorite Superbowl Sunday too, huh? Ravens 34, Giants 7. Woo-hoo!

(sorry, Terri)

9:11 PM  
Blogger moonhart said...

LOL! Jeri you just have *thing* for Ravens, girl.


terri (rooting for the steelers. Sorry Robin.)

3:27 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

LOL. I watched last week's game a little, but I usually don't watch a full game in a season, so my womanhood is not associated with a football team...and I try to keep a journal of wonderful moments (like the conference where I won the RITA), so I still have them, and The Call, is one of those stories I've told so often that I don't forget the details...and I have the "hole" where the brass rubbing should be to always remind me.


7:43 AM  
Anonymous Leslie Dennis said...

Ahhh I remember the day well, Robin! We were all sooooo thrilled for you! Mayyou have many, many more wonderful publishing moments! And definitely keep the brass rubbing off the wall. I'm not one to go against superstition!!

Happy anniversary, too! ;)

12:54 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks Leslie! I usually recall when an anniversary rolls around.


9:01 AM  

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