Where will you be when the (book contract!!) call comes in?

Leslie Tall Manning

Fifteen years ago, just after I married, someone handed me Nicholas Sparks’ first book, The Notebook.  I knew it was a romance, and I was a new bride, so I read it.  At the time, I had just finished writing my second novel.  I did not have an agent yet, and like so many writers, I wrote and breathed with the belief that I would soon publish.  I made it a habit to peruse the acknowledgements page of every book I read, since I’d heard that was a great way to find an agent, plus I enjoy seeing who inspires writers.  Sure enough, Nick (I can call him that because he’s a neighbor) thanked his agent, his editor, and so on, just like many other authors who want to express their gratitude.  Then he mentioned something that has stuck with me through the years.  He was talking about specific…

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