Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lynne's Angels

Posted by Lynne

My trip to New York City was originally planned for the same day as Amy's. My editor meeting was coupled with some business and we thought it would make our visits even more memorable if we traveled together. It wasn't meant to be. Just before booking my train, I heard from my publicist for Negotiation Generation that a bookstore was interested in an event and when publicity calls, I answer. I moved my trip to earlier in the same week.

In the few phone conversations I'd already had with Hilary Teeman, my editor at St Martin's Press, I was impressed. She's smart--her edits brilliant-- and she's driven. Most of all, she loves my novel and says everyone who's read it at St Martin's, including George Witte, editor-in-chief, does too. Still I was eager to meet her in person.

My plan was to take the train to NY, meet with a potential client and later a colleague for dinner. The following day, Hilary and my fantastic agent, Elisabeth Weed of Weed Literary (Blessed the writer who has Elisabeth on her team) would meet me near the St Martin offices for lunch. It was early for a full team meeting given my pub date isn't until winter 2009.

Staring out the train window, I prayed the meeting would be wonderful; I hoped we'd all connect. Not a fan of loud talkers and cell phone exhibitionists, I'd taken a cozy seat in the quiet car of the train. When my cell phone vibrated, I nearly catapulting out of my seat and onto the business man sitting across from me. I was forced to let the call go to voice mail. Once certain I'd left ample time for the caller to leave a message, I listened. It was Hilary.

She wondered if I would call her. She wanted to finalize our lunch plans and had a bit of good news to share. I forced myself to think her good news was something inconsequential like she'd secured a sought after reservation for lunch or that her assistant had been freed up to join us. I played mind games for the rest of the trip, coming up with all kinds of potential news, anything but the news I longed for.

Once in my lovely hotel room, I called her. She asked if I'd like to come to St Martin's before heading out to lunch. She wanted to introduce me to the staff in foreign rights, because they'd just sold my novel to France! Of course I said yes.

The next day I entered the historic Flat Iron building. The combination of French and Italian renaissance elements are stunning. On the inside, its gilded walls and ornate elevator became fodder for my work-in-progress, I took note of details that will fit nicely into my next novel.

Welcome to St Martin's, she said as she escorted me into her office. I handed her a small bag of goodies from my home town. Cape Cod cranberry chocolate and Dancing Deer cookies, I wanted to introduce myself like any good guest who'd been invited over for special meal would. She showed me the books she's working on, in various stages of production. Bound manuscripts, ARCs-- she showed me where my manuscript sits.

After introductions, more pleasantries and Elisabeth's arrival, we went outside noting what a beautiful day it was. A beautiful day indeed! The weather was remarkable for November, a cross between late fall and early spring. The restaurant was charming and our conversation was even better than our exquisite food. We bounced easily between our expectations for Life Without Summer, the inside story on publishing fiction and how we would all work together. Mid-meal I found myself nearly speechless. I sat facing two of the most impressive woman I've ever met. Woman who are working hard to make my dream come true.

After tea and biscuits, we headed back to St Martin's. With Hilary on one side of me and Elisabeth on the other, we walked in step with each other; it reminded me of the trailer for the Charlie's Angels movie. My story would be more aptly titled, Lynne's angels.

After our goodbyes, I came out of the Flat Iron building warmed by the sun and our meeting. I started walking, my plan to hail a cab on the next street corner. Energized and excited, I didn't want anything to change my mood, so I kept walking. Block after bustling block, I mulled over every conversation we'd had until I found I'd walked thirty blocks back to my hotel--in heels.

It can happen, you know. If you work hard at learning the art of writing. If you persist in pursuing your dream. If you find talented champions--mine came in the form of my writers' group--you too can find your way. Your book will be published.

All you need are angels.


Lisa Marnell said...


I was doing a quick check-in before the turkey festivities begin. Thanks for sharing such magical details and congratulations! Looking foreard to our upcoming meeting.

Sustenance Scout said...

Lynne, I love that building! I had no idea the St. M's offices were located there. How fun to visit this blog and read these real-life dream-come-true stories. Thanks so much for yet another uplifting story. Best wishes for continued success! K.

Carleen Brice said...

Amen! And congrats on the French rights! (My last trip to NYC I walked 5 hours in one day!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks to both Amy and you, for sharing these details.
It inspires me more to hear from you guys than those with the established names.
It means the rest of us can do it too. Like you said, if we keep working.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Thanks Lisa, I accept your congrats and I really look forward to our next meeting.

Sustence Scout,
Yes, the flat iron building is gorgeous. Did you know that the whole building contains offices having to do with publishing in one way or another? Thanks for your kind words.

Thanks for congrats on my sale to France, I'm over the moon about it. I love walking in NYC; there is so much to see, you just keep going without any concept of how far you've gone.

Yes, it can happen. Keep writing! Dreams do come true.