I Got The Call!!!

Over the past year I’ve seen other authors share their ‘Call’ stories and wondered when would I get to do the same.  So what’s a call story I hear many of you ask?  Basically it’s the tale of how a publisher made their book deal offer to an author. So at last, here’s mine. (Although mine is more of a You’ve Got Mail story!) I’ve dreamed for months now of what that moment could be like for me.  Ever since I signed my contract with the Trace Literary Agency I have been  a bundle of nervous and excited anticipation, waiting for Tracy my agent to update me on her own submission dances with publishers.  Tracy had queried 13 publishers, 13 emails or letters which included alongside my novel Beyond Graces Rainbow all of my writers hopes and dreams.   Naively I thought I might have some feedback within a few weeks.  Oh foolish and naive me!  Months went by and not a murmur from the bakers dozen. I began to have a love/hate relationship with my inbox.  Every day I would check my emails at least a dozen times (ok more like two dozen) hoping to see an update from Tracy.   Eventually as the weeks went into months, I reckoned a no would be preferable to just getting a big fat nothing!  Thankfully a few publishers came back and acknowledged the submission, saying they would get to it in time.  Sanity saved in the nick of time.  And at least it wasn’t a no.  Eventually I received a couple of emails with actual decisions made and even though they were Big Fat No’s, they were the nicest PFO’s I ever received.  And I told myself that we all need a few no’s to appreciate the yes’s don’t we? Character building and all that! Some of the PFO comments received were :-

‘the writing and concept are both very strong. However, I find the writing too commercial for my taste.’ ‘while though there is much to like, it is not right for us’ ‘

‘I read BEYOND GRACES’S RAINBOW with great interest and enjoyment. It has a lot going for it and is an accomplished debut.’
‘I wish Carmel the very best of luck it is clear that she is a great writer’
See, I told you in all fairness they were really nice rejections.
Then in June a midweek break in the Glens of Aherlow was arranged as a surprise for Mr H’s Fathers Day gift.  Along with the stunning views in Aherlow, there also was a distinct lack of wifi, so my email access wasn’t great.  But when I sat on the stairs in our lodge and held my iPad up in the air for a moment, not forgetting to say a few Hail Mary’s for good luck, there was a chance I might just get a signal.
Temptation got the better of me one day, I hadn’t seen emails for over 24 hours, so while the children were outside chasing bubbles, I sat on the stairs with Mr H and checked my emails.  And OMG what did my lovely inbox have for me?  Only this from Harper Impulse, a division of the International publisher Harper Collins. Yes I said Harper Collins.  Them that represent amazing Irish authors like Cecelia Ahern, Claudia Carroll and Cathy Kelly!  And this is what Harper said in the email.

I absolutely loved Carmel’s charming, emotive voice and the story’s premise and would love to chat about this further with you.

I whispered to Mr H, is that an actual offer? Was it a good email?   A maybe?   Well after careful consideration we decided it wasn’t a bad email, no matter what way we dissected the comments, it certainly looked very positive! Clarifications were requested and shortly afterwards another email was received with this wonderful statement which may have elicited one or two whoops from myself!

I just realised that I didn’t mention in my first e-mail that we would love to offer Carmel a two book contract if you do decide HarperImpulse is the right fit for you.

I cannot describe the pure joy those few words brought to me.  And Mr H too, cos’ he’s been right by my side throughout this.  So a meeting was duly planned in London with the lovely Charlotte Ledger of Harper Impulse.  Tracy (my agent) and myself met her in the elegant and beautiful  surroundings of The Lanesborough Hotel in London, and as we sipped tea (as one does in London), I couldn’t help but become excited by both Charlottes vision of how HarperImpulse  would market my books and also the vision she had for HarperImpulse in the future. I’ve always been someone who trusted my instincts and pretty much throughout this journey I’ve been on over the past year, it hasn’t let me down.  So when another publisher came forward and said they were interested, I decided to continue listening to my gut and with jubiliation and champagne and a few congas danced around our house with the chidren (Mummy’s got a contract, Mummy’s got a contract, la la la la, la la la la!!!)  I signed the contract!  And that my friends is my Call  Email Story!  Thanks for reading as always, Chat soon, Carmel x

And here is my lovely book cover! Which I cannot stop looking at, I love it so much!  If you would like to read an excerpt of Beyond Graces Rainbow and place a pre-order for it, please go here. 



  1. Love it! I haven’t met Charlotte yet 🙁 But she’s so lovely via email, I can’t wait to meet her.

  2. Aww, that’s so lovely! Congratulations! (Also, ever so slightly jealous)

  3. Love, love, love this. And can’t wait to sip more tea, or something a little stronger! in the near future!

  4. Congratulations!! I can’t wait to see Beyond Grace’s Rainbow in the shops and get my hands on a copy! Well done xx

  5. Congrats Carmel and welcome to the Harper Impulse family!

  6. Love it.. so nice to witness dream turned to reality 🙂 xx

  7. Congratulations! It’s great to read good news. I don’t have an e-reader so hurray that I’ll finally be able to read Beyond Grace’s Rainbow when it’s a book.

  8. That must have been so exciting! Best of luck with the book 🙂

  9. Isn’t it typical that the email you’ve been waiting for comes when you haven’t got a decent internet connection?! A watched kettle as they say….
    A lovely call story and congratulations!! I’m looking forward to reading this one, and I do love that cover 🙂

  10. Pingback: Goodbye 2013, it’s been quite a year! | carmelharrington author

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