Warning: Due to extreme excitement, this post is abnormally long.

Over the weekend, I’d been battling a nasty case of the blah’s. I was feeling discouraged about my writing. I wrote two things in my prayer journal, and here they are, word-for-word.

1. “Sometimes I feel like this won’t ever happen for me, Lord. Will I ever get the call? Will I ever snag an agent or publisher’s interest? Right now I just can’t imagine that ever happening.”

2. “I’m in need of guidance. I’ve completed three stories. I’ve revised them until I can’t see straight. I’ve done all I can do with them on my own. And now I have all these other story ideas zooming through my mind. Do I continue with the second book in the series I’m writing? Or is my time better spent on a different idea? I need somebody to come alongside me and help me on this writing journey.”

So that was this past weekend. Let’s fast-forward to Monday….

On my drive to work, guess what I saw in my rear view mirror? Flashing blue and red lights. Serves me right. Just this past weekend, hubby was scolding me about my led foot. I admit, I deserved the ticket. But still, what a lousy way to start a Monday.

When I got home from work, I changed into my running gear and opened my email, expecting the usual onslaught of junk. Which was all there, only something else was there too. Sitting in my inbox was an email from Rachelle Gardner, the subject line titled “Requested manuscript, Beneath a Velvet Sky”.

My chest collapsed. Oh goodness gracious, what is it? A thanks, but no thanks? Blood pounded through my ears, drowning out any logical thoughts. Except for the desperate “Please God. Please God. Please God. Please God…” that comes before such an email, my mind was pretty much blank.

I opened the email and skimmed over it, heart rate spiking. Rachelle wanted my phone number! Doh! How could I have not sent her my phone number? Note to writers: make sure your phone number is somewhere! I quickly shoot her an email with my phone number.

Had a conversation with my husband that went something like this:
“Ryan! Get in here!”
“Look at this!”
“This!” I point at the computer screen, high-pitched, animal-like sounds emitting from the back of my throat. “Read it!”
He squints at the screen. “She wants your phone number.”
“Why does she want my phone number?”
“I’m guessing she wants to call you.”
“Why does she want to call me?”
He gives me a peculiar look. Like, could I really be this dense. To which my answer is: Yes! When excitement and nerves and what ifs are pinging around inside my brain, yes, I can really be this dense.

Still, I don’t want to get my hopes up. With shaking fingers, I open up Tweet Deck. Scroll down. See a tweet from Rachelle that says: Imagine my heartbreak when I was all ready to make The Call to an author but couldn’t find a phone number anywhere!

Then I see another tweet from her that says: Of course I emailed the writer and asked for phone number. For some things, I think an actual conversation is best.

I freaked out. Absolutely, one hundred percent, freaked out. Made my husband come back in the room. Made him read her tweets. Buried my head in my shirt, and cried. Actually cried. Hubby told me to stop because I was making him emotional.

I went running (with my phone). Sprinted the entire two miles. Probably lifted my hands up in the air at some point just to show God how filled with praise I was. Probably freaked out some drivers passing by. Probably had them thinking, “Who is that psycho sprinting like Phoebe from Friends with her hands up in the air?”

Got home. Paced. Thought: Maybe I should send Rachelle another email. Wrote one, deleted it. Wrote another one. Hubby told me to just sit tight. So I did. Then my phone rings. And it’s Rachelle. I rambled like an idiot. I told her I had dreams about her. Probably freaked her out. I’d be freaked out. I’d probably be thinking, “Who is this random person stalking me on the Internet and having dreams about me?” Despite my inability to shove a cork in my mouth, she still offered me representation. Shaking. Yes, I was shaking.

I had my proposal out to another agent. So I got off the phone with Rachelle with things up in the air. I continued my deranged pacing. Here’s what my conversation went like with my hubby:

Hubby: So, are you going to give this other agent an opportunity to respond to your proposal? (Keep in mind, this other agent is a wonderful, wonderful agent and I admire her deeply).
Me: I don’t know what to do!
Hubby: Why don’t you pray?
Me: That sounds logical. (I stopped deranged pacing. Opened prayer journal. Revisited my top five goals I wrote after Debbie Maccomber’s key note speech at the ACFW conference. Number one goal I’d written: Acquire an agent, somebody like Rachelle Gardner.)
Hubby: Okay, best case scenario. Other agent loves your stuff. Offers you representation. What do you do?
Me: (without hesitating) I accept Rachelle’s offer.
Hubby: You have your answer then, don’t you?

I email other agent. Let her know how thankful I was for the opportunity to send her my stuff, but that I was offered representation by somebody else and that I’m going to accept the offer. I email Rachelle. Tell her I’d be honored to work with her. Try to assure her I’m not crazy, and ask what do we do now? Get email from other agent, congratulating me and saying Rachelle is wonderful.

I take a deep breath, thank God for the one millionth time, and bask in the knowledge that I have an agent. Not just any agent, but the agent I’d been dreaming about (literally).

So, to sum up the day: It started with a ticket. It ended with an agent. I’ll take it. Ticket and all.

I realize having an agent is by no means a guarantee for publication. I know that I have some serious work to do. I also know I will give it 110%. But still, it’s a major step forward in this writing dream of mine. One that just two days ago, I thought would never happen. I tried to take Debbie Macomber’s advice and think positive. But I found myself struggling to hold on to confidence. I found myself asking God if this would ever happen. If I’d ever get somebody to believe in me enough to help me climb the mountain, as Billy Coffey puts it. I’m still dumbfounded and humbled that He (God, not Billy Coffey) answered my prayer. That I do have somebody to help guide my steps now.

All this to say: Never give up hope, friends! If I can get The Call, a person who highly doubted it would ever be “my turn”, than you can too. Keep running the race and fighting the fight that the Lord has put before you. After all, this writing journey is a race that never ends. There will always be more to learn, more to hope for, more to wait for, no matter what stage we are at in the journey. Keep believing in yourself. It’ll be your turn someday too. And who knows? Maybe that day is a lot closer than you think!

A special thanks to Jeannie Campbell, Jody Hedlund, and Erica Vetsch, for squeeing with me! Jody, the emails we sent back and forth are hilarious. Thanks for being there when I needed to freak out. Jeannie and Erica, thanks for letting me blabber in your ear and thanks for squeeing with me. It’s such a blessing to be able to celebrate with people who really understand this journey.

Next steps? We’re going to polish up my proposal. Rachelle hopes that in 2-3 weeks, we’ll be ready to start submitting!

Questions to Ponder: Do you find yourself doubting that it will ever be “your turn?”? Maybe you’re waiting for an agent, or a publishing contract, or a million and one other things that we all long for and wait for on this side of eternity. Do you stay positive, or do you struggle with doubt? And how do you react when God answers your prayers?removetweetmeme

75 thoughts on “I Got THE CALL!

  1. Kristin

    What an amazing story, Katie! I'm getting all choked up reading it. And I so remember Rachelle tweeting about the writer without the phone number!!! I was flipping out for you. So glad it all worked out for good in the end. Sounds like a verse I know. πŸ˜‰

  2. Martha Ramirez

    This was awesome story! Thanks for sharing!! Mary Demuth linked u to a post today:) CONGRATS! How is it going?

  3. Weronika Janczuk

    Ohmygod, Katie, how did I miss this? (This is what happens when I have 0 time.)

    Congratulations!!! We all know Rachelle is amazing. I'm so incredibly proud of you, having followed your posts in and out, in and out. I know how important this has been to you.

    Good luck!

  4. Shmologna

    Congratulations! Another hurdle taken DOWN baby!

  5. Tina Russo

    I'm late but still just as thrilled for you.


  6. Julie

    Congratulations on getting the call! I'm a new follower of yours and I have to say, this post had me laughing and crying at my desk at work. I felt like I was there with you!
    I look forward to reading more about your journey.
    Good luck with everything!

  7. carolynyalin

    Congratulations. Thanks for letting us in on your joy!

  8. Emily Ryan

    Katie, Congrats on your first oh-my-goodness-I'm-about-to-pee-in-my-pants Call! That's awesome! Can't wait to hear about the next one to come, in which Rachelle calls you to tell you that you're actually going to be a published author after all! (Of course, that is the oh-my-goodness-I-DID-just-pee-in-my-pants Call) πŸ™‚

    Emily Ryan

  9. Tara McClendon

    Sorry to jump in late, but Horray!!!!!! I think you two will make an awesome agent/writer team, and I wish you all the best of luck (though you don't need it).

  10. Candee Fick

    Life picked the wrong week to keep me from my computer and I missed the party. Joining late to add my heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS on achieving this next milestone in your journey. I remember talking with you at the ACFW conference about your appointment with Rachelle. And look here, less than two months later …

    I love how God chooses to answer our prayers with such perfect timing. When you needed a boost from the blahs, He did. In ways beyond your wildest imagination.

    Can't wait to hear more about your journey.

  11. Faith

    This is wonderfully fantastic…. congratulations :)!!! And beyond that, thank you for sharing your struggles with doubt… I have tears in my eyes now because I often doubt myself and wonder where God fits into 'this writing thing'. I know I need to stop doubting and just start trusting. It's just not always that easy… but I feel so encouraged, reading this post. I know what I need to do, and that starts with getting down on my knees more often. Thank you again for this, and many more congratulations!!! *throws confetti*

  12. Carla Gade

    I feel like running and screaming for you! How excited you must be! I recently read your interview over at Keli's blog. And now I'm so happy for you. Soon!!!! God bless you!

  13. Kelly H-Y

    OH MY GOODNESSS … that is beyond awesome!!!!! I am SO excited for you!!! SO excited!!!

  14. Carol J. Garvin

    What wonderful news, Katie! I can't imagine a better ending to a speeding ticket Monday. πŸ˜‰ I'm so happy for you and wish you heaps of success.

  15. Patti

    Congratulations. She sounds like a great agent.

  16. MARIAN

    Loved your post, Katie! What a great story! Congratulations! Enjoy the ride!


  17. Jen

    awesome! I teared up reading this! congratulations!

  18. Bethany Wiggins

    What an awesome post! I am so excited for you. congratulations.

  19. sherrinda

    Fist pumping high for you, girl! That is totally awesome and I know God has big things in store for you! Congrats!

  20. Nordicblogger

    Congratulations! I came here to read this entry when I read Rachelle's tweet about it. Based on your writing in this blog alone, I want to run out and buy your book right now. Love your style! You were able to catch the essence of the moment all the way through.

  21. Tabitha Bird

    Oh Katie CONGRATS!!!! That is amazing!!! I am jumping up and down with excitement for you. I am so happy for you Katie! That is wonderful.

    Sorry I am so late to your blog. I was having my own down day yesterday. But your post is wonderful news and a great way to start my Thursday !!! YEAH FOR YOU GIRL!!!

  22. Gina Conroy

    Congrats! Having someone who knows what they're doing and believes in you(aka agent) really helps especially during those long days waiting for the other call and wondering if the phone will ever ring again! Can you guess what part of the journey I'm on? But this IS great news and validation of all your hard work! Enjoy!

  23. Schmeebs

    Hi Katie – I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago via facebook and have been keeping up with your journey and writing. I'm so happy for you and the many exciting things that "the call" is going to bring for you! You are an amazing girl! Keep up the hard work! – Kelsey

  24. Katie Ganshert

    Oh wow! I'm just overcome by this outpouring of congratulations and celebration! Everybody's encouragement and joy on my behalf seriously is bringing tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for making this time even more special. Thanks for celebrating with me! I'm feeling beyond blessed right now! All of you ROCK!!!


  25. Jordan McCollum

    Congratulations, Katie!

    Would you mind sharing the timeline of your process–i.e. when you first queried Rachelle, when you sent the MS, etc.?

  26. Gwen Stewart

    I knew it was you, Katie! I knew it was you! Congrats. That's wonderful news!

    And yes, to answer your question, I've give my whole journey to God. He might just take it back; I don't know–but I'll trust and obey no matter what He decides.

    God bless you on this journey!

  27. Holly

    SOOOO completely excited for you!! You just keep getting closer and closer to that dream. I am so proud of you! I know someday I'll be able to say one of my best friends is an uber-famous author πŸ™‚ I figure I get bragging rights since I "edited" your first couple novels, ha.

    And girl, I can so relate to those feelings of "will it ever happen to me?" I'm thrilled God came through for you and answered your prayers…

    Can't wait for this weekend! We'll celebrate your victory over Dairy Queen…or Sonic…or, if I'm being completely honest, BOTH.

    Love you,

  28. Jeannie Campbell, LMFT

    sorry i'm late to the additional celebration (but i've been swamped with packing!) SO YAY AGAIN!!! WOO-HOO!! You landed your dream agent! i've been smiling about it every day since we talked. what an amazing story…what an amazing God.

    love to you,

  29. Melissa Marsh

    Awesome, awesome news!!! Congrats! I admit, I have struggled a lot lately with my publishing career and waiting for an agent, and I've had long talks with God about them. But it is in His time, not mine. I just have to keep remembering that!

  30. Ashley Weis

    Congrats, love! I am so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  31. ElanaJ

    This is the most awesome story I've ever heard!! CONGRATS TO YOU! (times a million!)

  32. Jessica

    This is so funny! Yesterday, or maybe the day before, I read Rachelle's tweet about the missing phone number and I was like, man, I wish it was me. But I knew for a fact I'd given her my number. LOL
    But to find out it's you… WOW!!!! This morning I saw your comment on my blog so I rushed over here and read your whole post,then I ran screaming over to my hubby! LOL YOu SO deserve this. It's amazing how God heard you and felt your need and this is what's happened.
    Congratulations! You've worked really hard and you've made sacrifices (like getting up at 4 am, yikes!). I hope your story gets an auction! πŸ™‚

    btw, now I personally know FOUR people repped by Rachelle. It's kind of funny, but cool.

    I hope you have an awesome day and don't come down from your cloud anytime soon! πŸ˜‰

  33. Wendy Sparrow

    Congratulations. It was awesome to read the play-by-play on this.

  34. Keli Gwyn

    Katie, what wonderful news!!! Mega congrats! I'm happy dancing for you in Northern California.

  35. Rebecca Ramsey

    How thrilling!
    What a fun post. You made my day!

  36. Lynnette Labelle

    Congrats! That's so wonderful. Thanks for telling us your story, too. I needed a pick-me-up and reading this post helped.

    Lynnette Labelle

  37. Ava Walker Jenkins

    I am madly brushing away tears of joy in your honor! Such a blessed event for you. I couldn't be happier for someone so deserving. What a wonderful example of faith you are, to do all you can an fully turn it over to the Lord. We eagerly anticipate more info on this journey with you.

  38. Todd

    Congratulations, and thanks for the awesome play-by-play. Great encouragement for those of us who haven't gotten the call YET!

  39. Valerie Keiser Norris

    So happy for you! I saw Rachelle Gardner's Tweet "Imagine my heartbreak…" and responded, "Imagine the writer's heartbreak when he/she finds out…" So very happy to hear that you got the call. I'm looking forward to mine one of these days.

  40. Billy Coffey

    What a great post, Katie. You captured all of that so perfectly. Congrats to you!

  41. Laurie LC Lewis

    I caught your tweet and rushed over to share in your news! Beautiful post, and so exciting! Congratulations on this thrilling turn in your career. I was so inspired by your joy and faith. Wishing you the very best success!

  42. slushpilehero

    That's fantastic! Congratulations! (Trying to stay positive here, but… blah… you know.) πŸ™‚

  43. katdish

    Oh-em-gee! I am laughing so hard I'm crying. You writers are all crazy people (and I mean that in a good way).

    Enjoy basking in your excitement. You're about to get VERY busy very soon.

    So excited for you, and thanks for the laugh this morning.

  44. Erica Vetsch

    Katie, just re-reading about Monday has me SQUEEEEEEEEEINNNNGGGG all over again! I'm so thrilled for you! Thank you for letting me celebrate with you!

  45. T. Anne

    KAAATTTIIIEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! No that's not an earthquake in so cal, I"m happy dancing severely for you!!!!!!! I was watching her tweet deck too and I'm so thrilled it was someone I know. I can't wait to watch the rest of your journey unfold and of course I cannot wait to purchase your book. You are so blessed and so sweet you truly deserve such a wonderful agent as Rachelle! XOXOXOXOXOXOX

  46. Marla Taviano

    Hi, Katie! Loved this post! Congratulations on your awesome news!! I

    signed with Rachelle a couple months ago. You are going to LOVE her! Seriously, I can't rave about her enough. And my husband can pretty much tell when I get an e-mail from her these days, because my reaction is some kind of gasp or shriek or me pacing back and forth mumbling, "OH MY WORD. OH MY WORD. OH MY WORD."

    Enjoy the journey! Looking forward to your book!

  47. Valerie Comer

    Congrats! I never thought I'd find out who Rachelle was tweeting about on Monday! I'm really thrilled for you and I'm wishing you all the best as you polish up the proposal.

  48. abouttothunder

    *SQUEE* for you! Congratulations! (I saw Rachelle's tweets yesterday. I will always make sure my contact info is complete.)

    Thank you for sharing the good news about how your prayers were answered. I have doubts, too, but I'm much earlier in the process. Right now, I'm struggling with a rewrite. Thank you for the reminder that prayer would be appropriate at this time.

  49. dhansen

    I have to ad a comment. I've never seen your blog before but I am so touched by your story. Thanks for the peek into your life and especially the courage to mention your prayers. I'm truely happy for you and I will add a thanks on your behalf in my prayers tonight.

    Sometimes I forget that I can't do this on my own. Your story really hit me right between the eyes.

    Good for you. You put in the work and knew where to go for help. You deserver it.

    Dustin Hansen

  50. Caroline Starr Rose

    Wahoo! So many of us have recently signed. I love we're in this together.

  51. Peter P

    I wish you'd recorded 'the call' so we could all share in hearing your crazy rambling!

    Thanks for the great post and CONGRATULATIONS! From what I hear, Rachelle is the best there is!

  52. Lindsey @ A New Life

    So excited for you and I don't even know you! Ha!

    Looking forward to reading more.

    Have a blessed day!

  53. Rachelle

    Katie, my favorite line from your post is "(God, not Billy Coffey)". My coffee (not Coffey) almost spurted all over my desk!

  54. Cindy

    Oh my gosh! Yay, yay, yay! My cheeks hurt from smiling. I am so very, very happy for you. Congratulations, Katie.

    Thanks for sharing the whole story with us, so inspiring πŸ˜€

  55. Kristen Torres-Toro



    I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just for emphasis, I'm going to add more exclamation points: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. mooney

    CONGRATULATIONS KATIE!! That is so fantastic!

  57. Catherine West

    WOW. I thank you for posting this because I can feel your excitement just bubbling through cyberspace!! I am sorry I must have missed your tweets that day, but glad to know what great news you've had. You will love working with Rachelle. She is definitely the best. Of course I'm probably a little biased. The fact she's stuck with me this long has to tell you something. :0)
    I'm looking forward to great things from you!

  58. Natalie

    I saw your tweets the other day and I just had to come say congratulations! Hopefully this is just the first of many exciting calls!

  59. Janna Qualman

    Katie, this is so exciting! And a very endearing post. Congratulations!

  60. CJ

    How very exciting for you!

  61. Tamika:

    Oh Katie! This the most fabulous news! My heart stopped reading this post. God is so good!

    The angels bow before Him, heaven and earth adore Him. What a mighty God we serve!

    I rejoicing with you!

  62. Marybeth Poppins

    Absolute Congrats!!! I'm so proud of you. I can't wait to hear all your updates. You must be stoked.

    Usually I'd sit back and blabber about your questions…but maybe another day. Today is about you!!!

  63. CKHB

    Not just any agent, but RACHELLE! Congratulations, that is so fabulous, and I'm thrilled for you!

    Of course I doubt whether my turn will come. I have my "zen" days where I can just have faith that it is only a matter of the time being right… and then I have my miserable days where I feel like the invisible woman because I'm doing the hard work, and yet the world walks right by me like I don't exist! (I'm actually struggling more with this for a couple non-writing areas of my life, where the standards for success are supposedly less subjective.)

    I know that even after you get an agent, the hard work and doubts continue. But now you have a champion for your writing, and that is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations again, Katie!

  64. Heather Sunseri

    Wow, wow, wow! Katie, that is so incredible! I am super, super excited for you! I'm making mental note now, "Don't forget phone number, don't forget phone number!" I'm so thankful for forgiving people who would never think to hold that tiny oversight against you as the truly talented writer that you are!

    Congrats again!!!

  65. Anonymous

    HI Katie,
    this was so fun to read! I am so very happy for you. Rachelle has such a great reputation. I just listened to the late night chat she did at ACFW. I was very impressed with all she and Gregg offer their authors. I think you made a very good choice. Keep up the hard work. Oh how I wish I would've started writing at your age. : )
    Carrie Turansky

  66. Sarah Forgrave

    Congratulations!!!! I was literally laughing and crying during your post. You conveyed your rollercoaster of emotions so beautifully. πŸ™‚ I'm glad to hear you not only got an agent, but your dream agent.

  67. Diane

    God is great and you deserve every bit of blessing he wants to pour out on you! So exciting! I definitely see a trend and more and more are writing posts just like the one you just did! :O) So happy for you!

  68. Shelby

    AWESOME!! Congrats to you.. your conversation with your husband sounds just like sometimes between me and mine.. about other stuff.

  69. Jaime

    *Jaime wildly throws confetti in the air and attempts to jump like a maniac while 31 wks pregnant.*


  70. Krista Phillips

    TOTALLY excited for you!!!!!! if the ground shook a bit a while ago… then it was from me jumping up and down for you!

    You deserve it girl!!!

  71. unencumberedlife


    I'm so, so happy for you! You've worked incredibly hard for this and you deserve to celebrate. I never doubted that you'd get The Call…


  72. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought

    Katie, Your dream is coming true. I'm so encouraged by this post. I would love to give you a hug right now. I know how much you wanted this and I feel God heard your prayer. Your hard work is paying off. Congratulations!

    And yes, sometimes I doubt that my phone will ring. But I'll keep writing. When that day does come I imagine I'll get face down on the floor in praise, like I did learning about my 3rd pregnancy.

    Praise God for your news!

    Sending Love and a Whopping Hug,
    ~ Wendy

  73. Eileen Astels Watson

    This is so delirioulsy, marvelously exciting, Katie!!! CONGRATULATIONS!! You go Girl!!!

  74. Terri Tiffany

    WOW!!!! I am sooooooo excited for you!! I read each word and was dancing here in Florida for you!! WAY TO GO!!! I haven't even queried here for fright but so glad you did!!!! Soon you will be getting a book deal just like Jody!!! Enjoy this special moment!!

  75. Jody Hedlund

    I'm still jumping up and down with you this morning, especially reading your post! Feels like I'm reliving the experience!!! I'm thrilled for you Katie. Thanks for sharing from your prayer journal and showing how we do indeed have a God who cares!


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