Monday, March 24, 2008

Guest Blogger: Donna Hatch

The Call: Authors often talk about when they got "the call", meaning the phone call either from an agent or editor that says "I'd like to offer you a contract on your book."

Like me, these authors had spent years writing, attending workshops and conferences, reading, re-writing, editing, submitting to contests and critique partners, and then starting the process all over again until finally they get the nerve to submit to agents and editors, only to be rejected until they had enough rejection letters to wallpaper a small room. Then when the call came, they would speak of how they'd squealed, or tried to sound professional when they only wanted to scream in joy. They would try to relay to their rapt listeners the sweet euphoria of learning that someone thinks their passion is a true, marketable skill.

I had tasted a bit of that exhilaration each time I won a writing contest, and I looked forward to the day I'd get my own call. I wondered if I'd scream and jump up and down, or try to behave with dignity, and I hoped my time would come soon.

I have often discovered that the magical moments in life that others speak of never seem to happen that way for me. The marriage proposal made by the man who is now husband certainly wasn't the kind that I'd always anticipated. It was completely unexpected and made in a very casual, off-handed way. In fact, it was so casual that I thought for certain that he was kidding. He wasn't.

Other major events in my life seemed to happen in much the same way. The call was just another of them. My call wasn't a call, it was an e-mail. And I had just had minor surgery on that Monday, and had a more difficult recovery than I'd anticipated. By Friday night, I hadn't even turned on my computer. My husband brought my laptop to my bed and asked if I wanted to check my e-mail, probably in an attempt to cheer me.

Almost lost among the over 100 e-mail messages was one from two days prior from the editor of a publisher. She said she'd like to offer me a contract on my manuscript.

I stared, re-read it, and then told my husband that they wanted to offer me a contract. He blinked and asked what that meant, thinking that I'd merely won another contest or something. It took some doing to convince him that I had basically sold my first book. I'm sure if I had been more excited about it, he would have caught on sooner. The times I'd won writing contests, I'd squealed and jumped up and down until I'd managed to frighten my teenagers. But instead, I lay there quietly, bleary-eyed, and told him in an uncharacteristically subdued voice that I was about to join the ranks of the published authors.

After 20 years of marriage, I realize that even though the marriage proposal was something of a disappointment, the man who made it certainly was not. Neither has life with him been. I am equally certain that my writing career will be satisfying despite its rather quiet entrance into my life.

The title of my first published book is The Stranger She Married which is being published by The Wild Rose Press. I don't have release date yet, but I've finished galleys and the book is in production.

The best and most rewarding things in life may not always have the grandest entrances. My marriage was one. I hope writing as a career is another.

Donna Hatch
Believe in happy endings…


  1. I loved your posting, Donna. What a great comparison, your marriage proposal and the offer of a contract from a publisher. Ah, yes, you're wedded to both for better or for worse. Here's hoping your second 'contract' will be as satisfying as the first. Congratulations. I love the cover!

  2. Donna,
    The cover is lovely and so evocative of your story. It's sure to sell many of your novels. I enjoyed your heartwarming story of "the call" as well. I thought that no one but my husband wouldn't realize I was telling him I got "the call". When he finally got it though, he shouted it out to our business and EVERYONE squealed with delight. Sometimes the best news creeps in quietly--I know that now for sure since it's happened to someone besides me. :-) May you have many more.
    ~~Susan Yarina
    President of Desert Rose Romance Writers of America

  3. What an intriguing cover! Just lovely. And yes, I'm sure your career will be as solid as your marriage. You're a wonderful writer. All my best!

  4. Donna, I'm dying to know how your husband proposed! If that's a story you can share here, please do...if not, I'll have to corner you at the Desert Rose meeting. :)

    Laurie, betting it's as great a story as the one coming soon!


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