Posted On November 3, 2010 by Print This Post

THE CALL by Adrienne Giordano

Today’s post is extremely special to us here at Romance University. Our very own Adrienne Giordano shares her personal triumph to getting published. We’re so proud of her and excited to be a part of her journey. Word of warning: the following is a tissue-worthy post. 🙂

Good morning, Adrienne!

My writing journey began twelve years ago. In theory, it began way (way, way) before that when I was in high school and decided I would one day write a book.  After college, life got in the way and I became a career girl.  I still loved to write, but paying my rent had become the priority.

In 1998, my father was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer.  If you know anything about cancer, stage four is not good news.  His chemo regimen required him to be hospitalized once a month for seven days straight. By this time, I was married and still working full-time, but fearing my father had limited time with us, my husband and I decided I should take a leave of absence from work so I could fly back and forth to New Jersey and be with my dad.

I began flying to Jersey for two weeks out of the month. When in Chicago for the remaining weeks, I found myself with nothing to do.  For the first time in my adult life, I had no job to go to. That’s when I started writing my first book.  It became the outlet for all my fears over the idea that my father might be dying.  And, to be honest, part of it was the mortality thing people talk so much about.  In my case, it proved true.  My dream of writing a book had waited patiently for me to chase it, and I kept putting it off because I was busy.  Well, I suddenly had time.

I would sit for hours in my quiet house and release whatever I had trapped inside my aching heart.  When my two weeks at home ended, I would print the pages (I didn’t have a laptop then) and take them to Jersey with me.  I would sit next to my father’s hospital bed and edit those pages as poison pumped into his body.  It didn’t stop him from haranguing me about watching Olivia Dihaviland or John Wayne on the classic movie station.

“What are you doing?” he’d ask while I sat with my three-ring binder in front of me.

“Working,” I’d say.

“Eh, you’re missing a good movie,” he’d respond.

This went on for six months until his first round of chemo ended.  To our delight, his scans came back positive because the cancer hadn’t spread.  Good news all around.

After that first six months, I had the writing bug bad and couldn’t imagine not doing it anymore.  I lost countless hours of sleep thinking about scenes I wanted to create.  If you know me, you know losing sleep is not a good thing for me. 🙂

With my dad’s condition relatively stable, I returned to work part-time so I could continue writing.  The cycle continued with me working three days per week, writing on my days off and then taking a few extra days once a month to hang out with my dad.

After four years of countless rounds of chemo, and with one and a half books under my belt, my father died and it tore a hole in me so big that I have yet to figure out how to fill it.  But I continued writing my second book because the writing became my outlet for all the pain and anger consuming me.

Five years ago, I started submitting that book.  The first one, the one I had worked on while my dad was in the hospital, sits in my drawer and is so riddled with newbie errors, I will never let it out.  Never.  You can beg if you’d like, but it’s not going to happen. 🙂 The second book though, I thought that one had a shot, and I started submitting and entering contests.  I was quite proud when I received a request for a full.  That book also gave me my first final in the Linda Howard contest.

When the rejections started rolling in, I reminded myself I was still learning and growing as a writer.  I continued to take workshops and go to conferences and meet other writers because with each book I finished, I saw growth.  And more rejections. Those blasted rejections just kept coming.  Some agents or editors even took the time to comment on all the things I did right.  Sometimes I think those are the hardest rejections to accept because they tell you everything is good, great even, but not great enough.

I kept writing.  That’s all we can do, right?  Just keep going.

This past summer, I went through a bad patch.  I had some contest finals to be proud of, some complimentary rejections that encouraged me to keep going, but how long could I continue on this journey?  Would I eventually look back after twenty years of submitting and be sad about all the time I’d spent writing?  Worse, could I stand it if that did happen?  I just didn’t know.  I decided I’d finish the work in progress and take time off from writing.  Regroup, I thought.

On September 16th, , I received a call from Angela James at Carina Press telling me they wanted to buy, Man Law, my third book.

I stood staring at the telephone, wondering if I’d heard right.  I replayed the message three times just to be sure. Then I ran to my office to see if the follow-up email Angela had referenced would be there.  Yep, there it was. The offer to buy Man Law.

I sat in my desk chair, a place I had spent countless hours creating and revising manuscripts, and something hit me like a smack upside my head. That day, September 16, would have been my father’s  80th birthday.  Could it be that my dad had sent me a gift from heaven on his own birthday?  Coincidence perhaps?

I don’t think so.

The journey that had started at my father’s bedside twelve years ago had finally turned into my dream coming true.

So, to my dad I say, “I got your gift, Chief. Thank you.”

* * *

Thanks, Adrienne!

RU Crew, I did warn you about the tissue. 🙂  What about you? Do any of our readers have an inspirational story similar to Adrienne’s? Doesn’t have to be about publishing.

Join us on Friday when debut author Amy Atwell will discuss linear vs. non-linear styles of storytelling–a blog you don’t want to miss!

Adrienne’s bio:

Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense, contemporary romance and women’s fiction.  After spending seventeen years working in and around the newspaper and advertising industry, Adrienne chose to work part-time as a marketing consultant to allow more writing time.

She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Chicago area with her work-a-holic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaton Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog, is a member of Romance Writers of America, Windy City RWA, Kiss of Death, and RWA’s Women’s Fiction chapter.

Adrienne’s books have been finalists in the 2008 and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests, the 2009 Sheila and the 2010 Write Stuff Contest. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Man Law, will be available in 2011 from Carina Press. For more information visit Adrienne’s website at or her Facebook page at Adrienne Giordano – Author.


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42 Responses to “THE CALL by Adrienne Giordano”

  1. Hi Adrienne,

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. Your dad sounds like a pretty cool guy.

    Congrats on your contract–can’t wait to get my copy of MAN LAW.

    Can you tell us where you’re at in the publishing process right now?

    Thanks, Tracey

    Posted by TraceyDevlyn | November 3, 2010, 5:30 am
    • Hi Tracey. My Dad was a character. He never had a problem offering his opinion.

      Right now, I’m waiting for my first round of edits from my editor. I was told to expect them the first couple of weeks in November. Carina likes to get the contract signed by everyone before they start working on the book. I just received an email to join the Carina author’s loop so I’m guessing the contract is squared away.

      So excited to get to work!

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | November 3, 2010, 7:27 am
  2. Hi Adrienne,

    I’ve never commented here before, but after reading about your journey I couldn’t stay in lurkdome. Your story is incredibly inspiring.

    I had a great chat with you in Orlando, when we sat at the same table during the awards luncheon. I’m so excited that you got The Call. Congratulations! I’m also so sorry about your dad. I have no doubt that he’s watching over you just as you watched over him.

    Thanks you so much for sharing your story.

    Posted by Rula Sinara | November 3, 2010, 5:35 am
    • Hello Rula! I remember meeting you and I’m thrilled you stopped by. It’s great fun to reconnect with people I’ve met at conference.

      As for my Dad, it doesn’t surprise I got the call on his birthday. It was so like him to do something bold like that.:)

      Thanks for commenting and hopefully we’ll see you back! Take care.

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | November 3, 2010, 7:31 am
  3. Adrienne: I tell you the Internet is a wonderful thing. I have “met” so many wonderful people and been blessed to share in their lives. You are one of those people – always helpful, kind, and generous – and I’ve never heard anyone say anything different,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. And thank you for sharing your Dad with us. He sounds wonderful.

    Enjoy this time – savor it. Can’t wait to read your book!

    Posted by Robin Covington | November 3, 2010, 6:50 am
  4. Hi Robin. Thanks for stopping by. The internet is amazing isn’t it? I’ve met some wonderful friends online and I’m so grateful.

    Thank you also for the kind words. I’ve been lucky enough to have received advice, encouragement or a good kick in the butt from others so I think paying it forward is important. I love being able to make a difference for someone.

    Glad you stopped by!

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | November 3, 2010, 7:35 am
  5. well, darnit. I didn’t read the tissue notice. =)

    Beautiful story Adrienne, and I’m positive your dad had something to do with it.

    I’m so glad you’re getting published A! I’ll be expecting my copy to be autographed. =)

    Now, off to find a tissue. Sniff.


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | November 3, 2010, 8:03 am
  6. Hi Age, even though I was right there beside you going through Dad’s ordeal, when I see it in print it brings back everything he went through. I know that he is so proud of you (probably even more than I am if that’s possible) for all that you’ve accomplished. Your hard work has paid off (I still think you should take the quirks out of the first book and submit it – it is so him) and I have shared my joy with my friends.

    Love you to pieces.

    Posted by joan giordano | November 3, 2010, 8:32 am
    • Darnit! Now I need a tissue. Gang, Joan Giordano is my mother and no matter how old a girl gets, she always loves hearing her mom say she’s proud.

      And yes, Mom, there are parts of him in that book. Every now and then I pull it out and read through certain scenes and think about how he inspired it.

      Carrie, where’s that box of tissues?

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | November 3, 2010, 9:19 am
  7. Your mom, my dear friend Joan, passed this wonderful news on to me. Congratulations on a most significant & impressive accomplishment. I know how proud your mom is…& how proud your dad must be. I wish you all the best with this book & the others to follow!

    Posted by Linda Halloran | November 3, 2010, 9:17 am
    • Hi Linda! I’ve heard so much about you. Thank you for stopping by. My mom is such a rock, isn’t she? I just love hanging out with her!

      Thanks for the well wishes!

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | November 3, 2010, 9:37 am
  8. Dear Adrienne,

    What a beautiful story!

    I lost my Dad fifteen years ago. For a long time afterward, I’d pick up the phone to call him. Eventually I realized that even though I couldn’t actually talk to him, if I thought about it, I’d know what he would say. He was still with me, in my heart. And sometimes there’s a look in my son’s eyes that’s completely my Dad. I think if they love you enough, they’re always there.

    Big congratulations on the call. I can’t wait to read your book!

    Sally Bayless

    Posted by Sally Bayless | November 3, 2010, 9:32 am
  9. Hi Sally. You are so right. I have the same experiences with my son. Particularly when it comes to back seat driving. I know he’s channeling my dad when he does that!

    Thanks for stopping in!

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | November 3, 2010, 9:38 am
  10. A wonderful story, Adrienne! Congratulations!!!!

    Posted by Vicky Dreiling | November 3, 2010, 9:43 am
  11. Adrienne, I’m sniffling. Thanks so much for sharing your story. It warmed my heart.

    Posted by Edie Ramer | November 3, 2010, 11:45 am
  12. Hey, A –

    Well, what can I say? Vic (the hero of Man Law)is my favorite, you know that. Although I’ve already read the MS, I can’t wait to get my hands on the finished copy. What’s surprised you about the sale process so far?

    I lost my dad over seven years ago now, which was before I starting writing seriously. Sometimes I wonder if he knows, and if he does, what he thinks about it. I really, really hope he isn’t omniscient because I’m not sure I want him to know all the goods on my love scenes. 🙂


    Posted by Kelsey Browning | November 3, 2010, 12:52 pm
    • LOL. I’ve read your love scenes so I don’t blame you for that! LOL. My love scenes are relatively mild and I still cringe at the idea of my father reading them.

      I don’t know that I’ve been surprised so much, but I’m definitely impressed by how kind everyone at Carina has been. The contracts are handled by the HQN legal department and I had a question I had emailed to my contact. For a company that size, I figured it would be awhile, but he got back to me within the hour. Everyone has just been a pleasure so far.

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | November 3, 2010, 2:22 pm
  13. I am so glad you are my sister…ok sister in law. You are so special in so many ways and you have touched my heart by writing this. I love you!!!! Deb

    Posted by Debora Giordano | November 3, 2010, 5:46 pm
  14. Adrienne,

    Thanks for sharing your story with us…(two tissues for moi!). Many congrats on your contract with Carina!

    Posted by jennifer tanner | November 3, 2010, 6:16 pm
  15. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us. I am crying and don’t have tissues. Should have listened to the warning!

    I’m glad your dad sent you a special message on his birthday.

    Hugs and so very very very proud of you and so very very happy for you!!!!

    Posted by Christine | November 3, 2010, 7:52 pm
  16. Hi Adrienne!
    Thank you for sharing your story! So sorry about your dad. What a wonderful gift you gave him, and you by spending so much time with him when he really needed you.

    Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | November 3, 2010, 9:57 pm
    • Hi Wendy. As hard as it was, those times in the hospital were some of the best we shared. We talked and laughed and he flirted with the nurses, which was always a hoot. More times than not he wound up with a private room because the nurses liked him.

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | November 4, 2010, 10:35 am
  17. Congratulations, Adrienne!

    Posted by PatriciaW | November 4, 2010, 10:00 am
  18. Hi Adrienne,

    My parents were always proud of each and every accomplishment. Now I’m a published author. I know they’re beaming down at me. And it feels great!

    Congrats on THE call!!

    Mary Jo Burke

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | November 4, 2010, 10:46 am
  19. Thank you Mary Jo. I appreciate it!

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | November 4, 2010, 11:19 am
  20. OK. You did it to me again. I’m sitting at my desk, at work, blubbering. I should have listened to myself when I read the line about the tissues and waited until I was home to read this but I didn’t. I can’t tell you how proud I am of you. I know that it was Daddy’s gift to you. He had a way of saying & doing things that always surprised us. He was always proud of you. I think he was proud of all of us but you always had his heart, Feef. He must be standing over my shoulder because I don’t often remember that he called you that but it just popped into my mind.

    Good job Age…..and THANKS DAD.

    Posted by Elisa Giordano-Hahn | November 4, 2010, 11:57 am
  21. Adrienne, that was a really heartfelt story, thank you so much for sharing. And congratulations again on your sale!

    Posted by Michelle Diener | November 5, 2010, 1:00 am
  22. Adrienne
    Your mom has shared the fabulous news with us (her dinner group and ex- VNACJ co-workers) and we cannot wait to read (and spread the news of) your book. She is so very proud of you! Congratulations!

    Posted by Kay O'Keefe | November 6, 2010, 10:06 am
  23. Hi Adrienne,

    I’m a week late reading this post, but I hope you see this because I want to tell you how inspiring I found your story. I’m a little short on perseverance, so I often wonder how long I’ll pursue this quest. Consequently, I’m so full of admiration for you and happy about your achievement, particularly given the painful periods of your journey.


    Posted by Cia | November 8, 2010, 10:34 am
  24. Adrienne,
    Somehow I’m just seeing this now, a week after you posted.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. Your dad would be so proud of you!

    Can’t wait to read MAN LAW. The title sounds like something he would’ve gotten a kick out of!


    Posted by Laurie London | November 9, 2010, 11:12 am


  1. […] I got the call from Carina Press that they wanted to buy my book. For the post about that, click here. I then submitted the other two books in the series to them. As of this writing, Carina has acquired […]

  2. […] father’s 80th birthday. So, I think my Dad sent me a gift from heaven. For more on that see this RU post. As a side note, the second book I reference in The Call post was also acquired by Carina. The book […]

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