Getting the Call: Meet Pippa Roscoe!

Her name may be familiar to many of you. Now, we’re so thrilled to introduce Pippa Roscoe as an author for the Harlequin Presents team! Here is her Call story: 

Nine months ago I was living in London, with the best job in the world. And it really was. I was an editor for Harlequin and there were two things in life that I knew to be true: I needed coffee in the morning before I could speak to anyone, and that if you broke me apart, Harlequin Presents was inscribed on my bones. But in spite of this, I knew I had to make a change.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was to realise that I wanted something else. That I wanted to make my life different. I wanted to move to Norfolk and be near my family. I wanted to make my living by putting all the day dreams I had in my mind down on paper. That I wanted. That, in itself, was enough.

Handing in my notice was so hard. There were tears. There were sobs, there was the kind of ugly crying most people who know me would have been shocked by. But I knew I needed to do it. I sold my little flat in London, and left a place I’d called home for five years, and landed on my sister’s doorstep until I could find a new one.

Norfolk is a beautiful part of the world. It’s an hour and half from London, and my part has large open fields, incredible large sprawling skies, enough quiet to keep me happy and enough family to keep me busy. And I just couldn’t wait to get started. But putting the words of the story that wouldn’t leave my head down on paper required something I’ve heard referred to as BFI.

Blunt Force Ignorance.

It happened quickly, with absolutely no finesse and complete ignorance of all I’d ever learnt as an editor, complete ignorance of all forms of self-doubt, self-negativity, and even self-indulgence. I wrote it and hit send.

Like I said. Blunt Force Ignorance.

When I got my revisions and re-read through the manuscript, I was appalled. Genuinely. I redefined face palming in one afternoon. I spent three days going down the wrong track, phoned a friend who talked me round, and finally re-read the revision letter once more. Flo had delved into the story I had written and seen the one I had wanted to write. She had lit the pathway to make this happen. And no matter what happened after I hit send, I knew that I would never be the same again. Writing the story, making it better, was the thing that I’d been looking for nine months before.

So then I bit my nails, joined a gym, left a gym, joined an online dating agency, started work on my new house, painted, painted some more, bit my nails some more, arranged to meet someone from the online dating agency.

I was on a date, halfway through the cup of coffee I can’t do without, when my phone rang. I apologised profusely, but explained that I really needed to take this call.

There’s nothing that can prepare you for life changing moments. There are bad ones, and there are incredible ones. And I was lucky enough for it to be the latter. So there I was, in a coffee shop in Ipswich, on a date, with a coffee in one hand, a phone in the other, a man sitting opposite me with curiosity shining in his eyes, and I was desperately trying not to cry.

“We’re delighted to say that we want to buy your book.”

I’ve uttered those words. I’ve made that call. But I can say, hand on heart, nothing came close to how honoured, how excited, thrilled, ecstatic, nervous and… so boringly practical I was! My poor editor. I tried to explain that the emotional side of my brain had overloaded, and the professional side had taken over. My date was smiling, Flo was laughing, and I was in emotional reboot!

Some of you may know already of my hunt for an alpha male. I can’t tell you if I’ve found him yet, but I do know that my date was happier for me than I believed I had a right to be. But then, I am the Queen of delayed reactions. So it was only when the announcement went out and I saw once again the genuine love of what Presents is, the love of and for those who write it and work on it, the support network that these amazing authors and editors provide, that I realised I was back home again. With my Presents family.


28 replies on “Getting the Call: Meet Pippa Roscoe!”

Hey Amalie, thanks! It’s still only just beginning to sink in. But loving every moment of it.

Pippa! Congratulations on your first of what will no doubt be many sales. I love your call story and I think it’s gorgeous that you were on a first meeting/date when you received it. All the best.

P.S. Raphael and Grey say hi!

P.P.S. I should have started that with, “Hello, from the other side!” 😉 now you’re an author and all…

Yvonne! So lovely to hear from you and thanks so much. And Hi to Raphael and Grey!! I still think of that fabulous meal in New Zealand that had so much laughter and joy!

I love Presents authors so so much – but I can honestly say I’ve never been happier to see a Call story. Cannot WAIT to read your book! Huge congratulations, Pippa! x

Thanks so much Maggie! I’m so pleased you enjoyed my call story, hopefully it will encourage people to follow their dreams in whatever way they can!

Aw, Pippa, that is so awesome! I remember spending time with you in London and how passionate about the books you were. So happy you’re writing them! And Flo as an editor?? You hit the jackpot! Best wishes and lots of hugs and high fives. 🙂

Hi Lynn! I really do feel like I hit the jackpot! I’ve loved Presents forever and am so pleased that I now get to write them. (I also still get fan girl moments, so I’ll probably be a jittering wreck when I see my book on the shelves with the other Presents authors!)

Pippa, I cried reading your call story!! How beautiful! So looking forward to reading your debut Presents. CC.

Ahh, Clare, thanks so much. Must admit, there might have been a few tears while I was writing it!

What a wonderful call story! I have to ask…what happened to the guy/date? To leave HQ as an editor would be difficult, but writing is so much fun. Congrats on the sale and hopefully there’s many more to come.

Thanks Chrissie! It’s been a big move, but absolutely worth it. And going to see the guy again!! (Though he doesn’t know that he’s been blog mentioned! Eek!)

Yay Pippa Roscoe. I knew, way back in Tuscany when you had just heard of your editing job, that you were too good at writing not to eventually turn your hand to it! Picturing you in Norfolk

What a lovely story! I’m so happy for you and that you had the guts to make those big changes that led to this. I also hope that the guy turns out to be a winner!

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