I’m a mother of three and grandmother of one sweet, new baby. I live with my husband of 24 years and our two youngest college-age children on a little hobby farm in rural southern Ontario. I homeschooled our children through high school, and am thrilled to now be able to write full-time.
This feature is about getting The Call, so tell us how you got The Call. Where were you, what were you doing, who was with you, how did it come (email, phone, text, etc.)?
Getting the call wasn’t at all like what I’d always imagined. My emails are preprogrammed to go to different folders. So when I saw that I had a new email in my Agent folder the day after Labor Day — the day my agent said the editor would give us her response to my manuscript — my heart sank. I figured that if I got the contract, my agent would call. Wouldn’t you?
So … I read all my other email before I even opened the folder. My heart jumped into my throat when I saw the subject line: Good News!
I quickly read the email, then called my agent. My agent was super-excited for me and I felt like my insides were bubbling over as I started to absorb that this was real.
I got the news on my youngest daughter’s first day of college. I had homeschooled all my children, so what a way to celebrate my graduation! When my youngest daughter got home, she was, of course, bubbling over with news about her day. I kept smiling and spreading my arms in a gesture of ― well, are you going to ask me about my day?
Finally, I said, “Guess what?” And her response was priceless. She screamed, “You sold your book!” and then jumped up and down and hugged me wildly. As an aspiring novelist herself (already published in non-fiction and short story, I might add as a proud homeschooling mom), she knew exactly how huge this was. And it was sweet to have her share my joy!
How long had you been writing before getting The Call?
In fiction, for five years. Before then, I’d only written articles for our homeschooling newsletter.
How many manuscripts had you written before the one that got The Call?
Six, plus lots of revisions that changed a couple of them into completely new books.
Were you agented when you got The Call? Are you agented now?
Yes, my agent judged the Daphne Du Maurier contest that I won the year before and offered to represent me.
What’s the single biggest thing in your writing life you can point to as contributing to getting The Call?
What has been the biggest change to your writing life since getting The Call?
Deadlines. Writing is no longer an option. I also have to market and put myself out there on social media, etc. which doesn’t come easily to me.
And to your non-writing life?
Not much.My family is my priority. That hasn’t changed.
Deep Cover is the first book in an Undercover Cops series: Fighting for justice puts their lives — and hearts — on the line.
I’ll give you a blend of my book blurb and the publisher’s:
Is it possible to be a man of honor and live a life of lies? Rick Gray hopes so, because as an undercover cop, he’s had to make too many sacrifices, including a future with Ginny Bryson, the woman he loves.
Ginny Bryson never really knew Rick — he never gave her the chance. Not then, and not now, when he’s back with a new alias to gather evidence against Ginny’s uncle. The man’s crimes led to Rick’s partner’s death, and Rick wants justice to be served. But his investigation is stirring up trouble, and Ginny is in the middle of it. But how can Rick protect her without blowing his cover, jeopardizing his assignment . . . and risking both their lives?
Which publisher are you contracted with and what is the release day for your story?
Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense on September 6, 2011. It’s available on eHarlequin in August.
Congratulations to Sandra, and to all of the MBT Voices who’ve recently received The Call!
Patricia Woodside does business and financial analysis by day; she reads and writes by night. She is the mother of three sons and is a transplanted New Yorker living in Florida. She is working on her first inspirational romance.