The Call! — From the Editor’s Side (Laura McCallen’s First “First” Acquisition)

Yesterday we learned how Andie Brock, new Harlequin Presents author, came to get the Call–here’s Laura McCallen’s view of getting to that point: “After working in both the Canadian and UK Harlequin offices I’ve had the opportunity to cheer on many of my colleagues as they make THE CALL and I was eagerly anticipating my own opportunity. I’m ecstatic and so proud to say the phenomenal Andie Brock is the first author I got to make an offer of acquisition to and I will never forget that exciting moment!”

THE CALL! – from the editor’s side

Laura McCallen, Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant for Harlequin Presents

As a member of the Harlequin Presents team I had the pleasure of reading Andie’s story quite early on in the So You Think You Can Write 2013 competition and thought it was fantastic. We all loved her voice and her fresh take on the classic marriage reunited theme and were so pleased for her when she placed 2nd overall in the competition. I was particularly delighted because it meant I got the opportunity to work with her to make the most of the terrific potential of her winning manuscript! The first time I called Andie was to tell her she had won 2nd place and she was standing at a bus stop which we both found rather amusing. She thought the news was wonderful and thanked me, Harlequin, the voters and all the other contestants profusely in her ever-so-elegant way.

Coming off the high of that initial phone call Andie and I were both eager to get started. Even though we threw her in at the deep end with her revisions she kept a smile on her face the whole time, committed herself to the process and the revised manuscript we received back absolutely made my jaw drop. Andie had taken the revision suggestions and run with them in a way I never could have anticipated making changes that brought the story together beautifully and left me both laughing out loud (literally!) and crying (happy tears!).

I got the official go-ahead to offer Andie a contract at the end of a Wednesday and emailed her first thing on Thursday to see if she was free. She got back to me almost right away but said she wouldn’t be able to take the call until noon. After waiting in anticipation all night and rushing in to work because I was so excited it was agony to learn I’d have to wait a few more hours….so I plotted the best way to give Andie the good news and really build up the suspense. (True fact: editors are just a little bit evil).

When noon (finally!) rolled around I called Andie who answered in a whisper as she was at the academic library where she works. I immediately launched into all the things we loved about her revisions and what a fantastic job she had done and then casually dropped in that there were still a couple things still to be done with the manuscript. (After she had put in so much hard work and waited so patiently to get feedback I did wonder if Andie might be cursing me in her head…) And then I got to say the magic words:

“But, Andie? We absolutely love this book and would like to offer you a two book contract”

 …and there was silence on the phone. Just as I was beginning to get concerned I heard – in the most dignified British whisper you’ve ever heard – “Thank you so much. I’m absolutely thrilled!” We chatted through some details but we were both so excited I don’t think either of us could tell you what was said! After we had hung up I got to share the great news with the rest of the office and there was lots of celebration. We editors love ‘The Call’ moment just as much as authors do and there’s always a ton of excitement in the office whenever anyone gets the opportunity to do it!

The best part about hanging up the phone though? I knew the excitement wasn’t over because I was already planning on calling her back the very next day to offer her another contract! I’m extremely pleased to say that Andie accepted and that she’s going to be part of a thrilling new Harlequin Presents project coming in 2015!

The Presents team is ecstatic to have Andie on board and can’t wait for you to read her debut!


Watch for:

The Last Heir of Monterrato

Coming from Harlequin Presents in January 2015


Thank you, Laura, for sharing your excitement!  You can continue to follow Laura’s adventures on Twitter as @LauraMcCallen as well as tracking Andie as @AndieBrock. Don’t miss all Andie’s new stories!