Jane Austen Gets “The Call”

Barbara Vey -- January 28th, 2013

Ask any author out there and they’ll easily tell you the story of when they got “the Call.”  That unforgettable moment when the phone rings and someone announces they want to publish your book.  It is monumental for any writer.

Now imagine 200 years ago getting “the Call.”  That’s what happened to Jane Austen.  She wrote to her sister, Cassandra, that Pride and Prejudice was going to be published.  Jane said in the letter, “I want to tell you that I have got my own darling child from London.”  Since she was childless, her books became her children.

It always amazes me when any piece of work just gains in popularity as time goes on.  Jane Austen has legions of fans, many groups are formed in her name, her books are still book club favorites, the stories keep being remade into movies and many authors try to emulate her style.  There’s even Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

So, here’s to you, Jane.  Congrats on getting “the Call.”

Tell us about your “Call.”

Bottom Line:  “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. ~ Jane Austen


9 thoughts on “Jane Austen Gets “The Call”

  1. Denise Golinowski

    Hi Barbara Vey! Thank you for the reminder that the giants of literature were once beginners. I remember when I got my first sale email. The email arrived without fanfare, hidden amongst the multitude. When I recognized the sender, I clicked it open immediately though with a sense of resignation. What’s another rejection anyway? Only it wasn’t! I sat there for a moment in stunned silence and then erupted into ridiculous giggles and other sounds unbecoming to a woman of a certain age. No matter, I continued experiencing spontaneous giggles the rest of the day and well into the next. To be honest, my second sale was greeted with no less excitement than the first, which I expect to be the pattern of behavior for some time to come. Thanks again for sharing and looking forward to more fun stuff!

  2. A. Y. Stratton

    My “call” was an email from The Wild Rose Press editor asking me if I was no longer interested in the contract they had offered me via email. What contract? What email? If could have, I would have leaped through my computer to hug the woman. I whipped out a plea to resend, read through all the pages of instructions concerning the contract and the process.

    And then I contacted everyone I’d ever met, starting with kindergarten. Buried Heart by A. Y. Stratton was born!

    1. Jessica Aspen

      I love how AY Stratton called everyone. I was afraid to call anyone! I held onto my contract and didn’t tell anyone while I read it and considered and thought. Finally I sent it back and waited for them to sign it and return it, which didn’t happen because it got held at the post office and lost! Meanwhile I was sweating at home as the days past and I still didn’t tell anyone! Finally I broke and told my local chapter. The contract was eventually pried from the hands of the post office, dutifully signed and returned and then began the wait for publication. But at least I could stop chewing my nails and not telling anyone what was wrong!

  3. Missy Tippens

    So true, Barbara! On January 30, 2007 (Yes, I remember the date!) I happened to see “Harlequin” on caller I.d. as I was putting away groceries. I about had a heart attack! Then I found I had a message on my answering machine asking me to call the editor. I knew that must be good news! It took me a few minutes to gather my wits and get my nerve to make that phone call. It was an amazing day once the shock wore off. :)

  4. Lenora Worth

    I remember when I got the call. I was in bed with the flu and I thought I was hallucinating or that I’d died and gone to heaven. The voice was so NY that I almost hung up (thinking it was someone wanting to sell something.) But this voice wanted to buy my book!!! Even with a fever and aches and pains that made me too tired to walk, I sat up in bed and screamed in delight. I was so excited, I managed a few days later to get myself to the local NOLA Chapter conference so I could celebrate with friends. I felt lousy, but I wasn’t contagious! My enthusiasm sure was, however! That was almost exactly twenty years and 53 books ago. But I still enjoy getting “the call.” Here’s to you, Jane Austen!
    There is a little bit of you in all of us, I believe! :)

  5. Tim Tocher

    9:30 on a weeknight, past the hour when any of my fellow teachers, or even a telemarketer, would phone. It was Bruce Lansky of Meadowbrook Press accepting my first novel, Long Shot. What a moment! Now I’ve come full circle with the book being reissued in 2012.

  6. GladysMP

    I have never received a call from a publisher, but I did receive a call from an editor when he phoned to say he was going to publish an article I had sent completely unsolicited to his paper. When he told me the news, I danced all around our den. The article appeared with pictures drawn all around it by someone from the paper. It was quite a thrill. It appeared in a major newspaper.

  7. Pingback: Jane Austen Gets “The Call” (beyondherbook) | Soynadie

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