It's only right that since my last post was titled Embracing Failure that today's be titled Celebrating Success. Because today is a BIG day. Today I got a call from Romance Writers of America telling me that HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART is a RITA finalist in the Contemporary Series category.
In Romancelandia, the RITA is a Big Deal. It's like the fricking Oscars. Or maybe the Golden Globes because the ceremony is way fun. Every year romance authors submit books for judging and for one day mayhem ensues as the top ranking books in their categories get the nomination nod. I knew I wouldn't get any work done. While finaling is a major long shot (there are 1200 entries across the different categories, with, I believe, Contemporary Series being the largest), there's always that little bit of hope. That chest-crushing anxiety when the phone rings and it's the chiropractor confirming your massage (yes, that happened, about 5 minutes before the actual call). Then there's seeing the news roll in and sending congrats and feeding off all the excitement.
And then today the phone actually did ring. And when the voice on the other end said she was from the board, I did something that I didn't even do when I got The Call from Harlequin.
I burst into tears.
I'm pretty sure I babbled something incoherent while trying to breathe. I know she said something about mailing my five copies to the office straight away for finalist judging. And that I'd be getting a packet in the mail.
And when I hung up the phone, I couldn't stop shaking.
In order: I tweeted, called my husband, e-mailed the Harlequin Romance author loop, my Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada loop, my agent and editor, and Michelle Styles.
I think I'm done shaking now. I've spoken to my editor who called from London and I have my fingers crossed that she is going to make the trip to Nationals in Anaheim because I'm going. I wasn't going to unless I got nominated, but I wouldn't miss this for the world. I just wish I could take the whole family with me.
I'm just so pleased. This was a very special book - my breast cancer survivor book - and Clay and Meg were such lovely characters to write.
And I'm in some pretty fantastic company :
A Bravo Homecoming by Christine Rimmer (Harlequin Special Edition; Gail Chasan, editor)
Donovan's Child by Christine Rimmer (Harlequin Special Edition; Gail Chasan, editor)
Doukakis's Apprentice by Sarah Morgan (Harlequin Presents; Lucy Gilmour, editor)
How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart by Donna Alward (Harlequin Romance; Sally Williamson, editor)
I'll Catch You by Farrah Rochon (Harlequin Kimani Romance; Glenda Howard, editor)
A Mother's Homecoming by Tanya Michaels (Harlequin American Romance; Kathleen Scheibling, editor)
Rancher's Twins: Mom Needed by Barbara Hannay (Harlequin Romance; Meg Lewis, editor)
The Texan's Bride by Linda Warren (Harlequin Superromance; Kathleen Scheibling, editor)
Check out the full list of finalists.
And a special congrats to my RWAC Chapter mate Nikki Figueredo who has finalled in the Golden Heart (for unpublished). Way to represent, chick!
Tomorrow I'll be back slogging my way through word count. But for today, I'm just going to enjoy the glow. I'm too distracted to focus on anything else!