Yesterday I signed a contract with Ingalls Publishing Group in Boone, N.C. for the publication of Naked and Hungry, my first novel. I did it with very little fanfare, my husband Robert as the witness, as we leaned over the counter in the kitchen. My main character would have been most proud of me because my very next action was to polish off the rest of my Krispy Kreme doughnut with Cheerwine cream filling. If the contract arrives in Boone a little stickier than before, I hope Mr. Ingalls will forgive me. (Pure heaven, by the way, the doughnut!)
The act of signing the contract is the not quite the end of the story–another very interesting adventure is certain to lie ahead–but it did symbolize a major stepping stone along the journey of writing the novel. Writing is a solitary art, by necessity, but it’s never been a lonely one. There are many, many people to thank, starting with my wonderful family, Robert and my son Dashiel, who graciously allowed me the luxury of all those sequestered Saturdays spent in front of the computer. To my Dad, who served as the catalyst and motivator, and to my Mom, for encouraging my love of reading all these years. To Christy for her meticulous proofreading, (by the way, you rock, sister-in-law) and to Sarah Beth, Kelly, George, Jen, and a kind gentleman named John Maxwell with the Wake County Sheriff’s Office for their early reads and wise counsel. And a special thanks to my beloved carpooler Missy, who tolerated my daily musings on the matter!
And last but certainly not least, to Mr. Bob Ingalls himself, whose phone call that Saturday morning I’ll never forget. Of course I was flipping crepes, and I remember fumbling across the stove as I reached for the phone. His first words were magical, words that everyone ought to have the chance to hear just once in their lives. “Wait, wait,” he said. “Before we talk about your work, can you tell me a little about yourself? I want to know who you are.”