One week after my amazing agent had sent my book out on submission, I got a voicemail message from her saying to call her back and that it was only "good news".
I am not a jump up and down person. I am not a scream and shout person. I am a sit still and quietly hyperventilate type person.
Except I couldn't do any of those things, because it was 4:30 on a Wednesday, and that meant it was time to begin the GAUNLET.
What is the GAUNLET you ask?
It is my Monday through Friday afternoon routine wherein I make the trek from my workplace to my children's daycare and then back home again.
I know that doesn't sound impressive or GAUNTLET-ey at all. Tons of people do that every day you are thinking. But let me paint a better picture for you.
My work is in downtown Buffalo. My children's daycare is in the suburbs. I have to go from the 33 to the 290 to the 90. That's three thruway changes. And the last one has a toll. I am on the 90 for all of maybe five miles and there is a toll!
Then I pick up my children. My twenty month old daughter is a goldfish cracker addict. Seriously, she has a problem. She needs them at all times. We are thinking about doing an intervention. It's that bad. But I have just come straight from work and I don't have any goldfish crackers. She whines. My four-year-old son sensing that she is getting more attention begins to whine too. I crank NPR and drive.
Except I can't get out of the daycare parking lot. It is on one of those streets where making a left means either waiting fifteen minutes for a solid break in traffic, or taking everyone's lives in my hands and shooting out into the slightest gap I can find. So I shoot out, and then take the side streets home, and there are approximately five bazillion traffic lights. Every single one of them turns red right as I reach them. And finally at the "almost home you guys and then you can eat all the goldfish you want and totally ruin your dinners" point, there is a traffic circle.
Traffic circles are wonderful in theory, they keep traffic flowing and you usually have a shorter wait then you would at a light. Except 80% of the population has no idea how to drive in a traffic circle. So they sit beside the yield sign, while I fight the urge to scream, "Yield! Yield! It says yield not Stop - YIELD!" When I do that I hear my son's little voice from the backseat say, "Mama, are you okay?" and then I feel like the worst person in the world. So I really try not to do that. Instead, I sit impatiently yet silently as the line of cars in front of me slowly gather their courage to enter the traffic circle, until finally it is my turn.
Then at last, I'm home. Now I can sit and hyperventilate, and I do for a minute, but I still have to call my wonderful agent back. So while my husband keeps the children entertained I sneak into our bedroom, close the door, and dial.
She talks and I hyperventilate. I can actually feel my eyes growing incredibly wide, as if my eyeballs were trying to jump out of my skull. I consider seeing about having one of those emergency defibrillators installed in our home.
And then the phone call is over. I talk to my husband. Call my mom. Text my best friend. Slowly my breathing slows.
And now the news is official. My name is part of Publishers Weekly deals section. My name. All three parts of it. Spelled correctly and everything. And the name of my book too. And I really wish I'd gone ahead and gotten that defibrillator installed.
Anyway, in case you are curious, here is the news that was the cause of all my erratic heartbeats and heavy breathing.
HarperTeen Takes Quinn's ‘Piece'
Alexandra Machinist at Janklow & Nesbit closed a two-book deal, at auction, for debut author Kate Karyus Quinn. Erica Sussman at HarperTeen took North American rights to the novel Another Little Piece, in which a girl comes to on an Oklahoma highway in another girl's body with the knowledge that she has murdered the girl whose form she now takes. The main character journeys back to the murdered girl's home in upstate New York as she tries to figure out, among other things, the identities of her other victims.