Getting the Call: Meet Ann McIntosh!

We are so delighted to introduce Ann McIntosh, new author for Harlequin Medical Romance. Her debut will be out in Sept 2018, and it’s called The Nurse’s Pregnancy Miracle! Join me in welcoming her to the Harlequin family! Here is her Call story, in her own words…

The road to “The Call” was, for me, a roller coaster. Life was already chaotic when I decided to participate in the Harlequin Medicals’ fast track early in 2016, but I was determined to at least give it a good try. Yet, for a variety of reasons, I wasn’t particularly optimistic. While I’ve been involved in the romance writing world for over ten years, the last few had been barren of inspiration and my writing career had fallen to the wayside. “Don’t give up!” my critique partner Amy Ruttan kept saying. “You can do eet!”

Huh. I wasn’t so sure, but, hey, what did I have to lose?

But I was steeled for rejection, right up to the very end. And the timing of certain events, like the arrival of revisions in my inbox the day after Hurricane Irma came through Florida, seemed portentous. Apparently even Mother Nature decided to throw a spanner in the works.

So, mostly I just put it out of my mind. Like the night back in December when I went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday and enjoyed myself too thoroughly. At least, that’s how it felt when I woke up the next morning. As I waited for the kettle to boil so I could make a much-needed cup of tea, I checked my email. And there was a message in my inbox saying editor Nicola Caws wanted to call to discuss some more revisions…

YIKES!

I had an hour to wake up properly. On the best of days that wouldn’t be quite enough to achieve full competence in my case, but it was more than enough to have me going a little nuts.

In desperation I emailed Amy, asking if she thought it might actually be “The Call” but, darn the woman, she wasn’t around to either say yea or nay! By the time Nic called I was pacing. Honestly, I know there were pleasantries and so forth, but I don’t remember what she said, or what I answered. I was a quivering mess, walking back and forth in the living room, trying to sound calm.

When she told me I was being offered a two book contract, I literally did a jig. And even though I was trying to be cool and professional, when Nic asked me how I felt, I had to admit to dancing, and then got the giggles. She was very sweet, and nice, and put up with my periodic bouts of laughter, but when I got off the phone I knew I probably hadn’t asked one intelligent question and felt as though I’d run a marathon.

I was still giggling as I texted my husband to let him know, and shot off an email to Amy, which simply said:

TWO BOOK CONTRACT!!!

*collapses in relief*

Then, in that moment, I thought of my mother.

You see, to me Mills & Boon and Harlequin are more than just iconic romance brands; they are an emotional intersection between my mother and me. Like many women, my relationship with my mother was often a rocky one, but we shared a love of books, particularly romances. Every week my mother’s budget was carefully calculated to allow the purchase of romance novels, two, sometimes three, a habit I believe she picked up when studying nursing in England back in the 1950s. No portrait of her life would be complete without a romance, usually a Mills & Boon or Harlequin, right beside her hand, and from a very young age I read from her extensive library. My romance “teeth,” so to speak, were cut on those books. No matter how different my mother and I were, that shared love of a story guaranteed to have a happy ending seemed to say, “You’re more alike than you can know.”

Mummy passed away in 1999, but, in reality, she’s never really far from me. And never did I feel closer to her than just after “The Call.” My pride at succeeding was amplified by the thought that I had written a book my mother might have used her carefully husbanded money to buy. A book I hope she would have enjoyed and, when she was finished reading it, closed with that satisfied sigh she always gave.

It gives having a book acquired by Harlequin a certain extra magic, for me, and I hope I never lose the wonder of it.

37 replies on “Getting the Call: Meet Ann McIntosh!”

Such a lovely call story Ann. I never tire of hearing them. Congratulations and best of luck with your writing journey. Will definitely look out for your debut ❤️

I knew you could do it. Just like when you cheered me on through my call with Medicals. I’m sitting here crying tears of joy for you! <3 <3 Love ya!

You’re my hero, you know! I can’t thank you enough for all the faith you’ve had in me, and all the great advice too! <3

Aw, huge congrats, Amy! What a beautiful Call story and I’m so happy that we’re going through the newbies process together. Can’t wait to read your first Medicals book in September!!! <3

Congratulations Ann….u deserve this so much….keep up the good work…proud to say I knew u before u became a famous writer!!!!!

CONGRATS GIRL! You deserve the success and we wish you all the best. I cannot wait to read your first Harlequin book in September! Congratulations again to one of the most talented, creative people I know!
Suzie and Chris

Awww, thank you! I think Miss Norma is probably also smiling down on me, and probably grumbling about why I didn’t do this sooner, so she could read it too. Love you guys!!!

Yay! Welcome to Medicals 🙂 Love the call story. I like to think even though our romance-loving mums aren’t here to see our success, they probably had a hand in it somewhere! <3

Thank you, Karin, and yes, I imagine them nodding and perhaps nudging each other, saying, “That’s my girl!”

Congratulations, Ann! I enjoyed reading your call story. It’s very inspiring and gives me hope that one day maybe I’ll have a story of my own. Can’t wait to read your book.

I’ll tell you the same thing my critique partner told me, Maurine… “You can do eet!” Just keep at it. Good luck, and thank you for reading my story!

I was very moved to read this. Though it is Ann’s explanation of her journey, it is also a tribute to her mother, Helen.

This first Harlequin is dedicated to her, Stephen, and it’s amazing to have so many of my old friends cheering me on and knowing where it all started. Thank you!!

Go Annie!!!!!!!!!!
How I remember the stacks of Mills and Boon books behind your mum’s chair in the living room and how much you both loved to read.
Tell me when and where I can buy your book. Will I be able to get it on Kindle?
Best of luck to you!

Thank you Karan!!! I’ll never forget the green shelves in the family room, which were stacked two deep in places with Mummy’s books too. Yes, it will definitely be on Kindle, and I’ll definitely have release day on full blast LOL!

As one of your biggest fans, I’m so proud and thrilled for you. Your memories of Mummy and all those books brought a little eye water to my eyes and a smile on my lips!

What a precious and priceless call story! I love how your mum influenced you. Mine too. This book deal is extra special because she is smiling down on you right now and very proud. CONGRATS!

I loved your call story, Ann. Your connection to your mother though romance novels is beautiful. I read dozens of Harlequin romances as a teen, and it does make it all the more wonderful to be writing for them now. The Medicals authors are super happy to have to joining us!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *