I made it quietly!
I was teaching a writing class for Baker College and the computer room was quiet except for the sound of keystrokes. My students were doing last minute corrections to their final documented essay that was the bulk of their grade for the class. I admit I was bored. To keep myself from sleeping, I surfed the internet and then checked my emails.
One email stopped me cold. It was the notification that A Case of Accidental Intersection had taken first place in the Dark Oaks Mystery Contest and Oak Tree Press wanted to publish my book. I wanted to scream, pound on the desk, jump up and down but I couldn’t. My students needed the concentration to do the final proofing on their papers.
My adrenaline was pumping and no place to expend it. I thought about quietly leaving the classroom, running to the parking lot and screaming the news. Instead, tears of joy cascaded down my cheeks as I tried to unobtrusively wipe them away. It was the only silent reaction I could make and it just leaked out. My students started printing their papers and turning them in at my desk. A couple asked if I was alright and I could only nod and they returned to their seats.
When the last paper hit my desk, I couldn’t help myself. “My book is going to be published.” I nearly screamed the words and the students just looked at me dumbfounded at my outburst. I then explained the email and I was congratulated. They didn’t even know I wrote a book. Class was over and they filed out, no doubt wondering about the sanity of their instructor.
I can’t say I’m any saner now than I was then. I still teach and when in the computer lab, I think about my shock at the email. It has been a crazy ride since then. The third book in the series is coming out in June called A Case of Hometown Blues. I still get a silent thrill when my publisher agrees to the next book, I don’t scream. The mold has been set with the first one. I’ve matured as a writer and take the news in stride, but don’t look too closely. A silent tear may still escape and roll down my cheek.
W.S. Gager has interviewed race car drivers and professional woman’s golfers. She enjoyed the fast life of a newspaper reporter until realizing babies didn’t adapt well to stories on deadline. Since then she has been honing her skills with other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life–write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone, an edgy crime-beat reporter.