Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Hangover

No, I didn’t wake up in Vegas,  married to a stranger, with no recollection of having a tooth pulled or aching and bruised after singing with Mike Tyson.  I’m coming down from the high of some really big announcements.

Yesterday, Romance Writers of America’s nominations for its most prestigious awards, the Golden Heart (unpublished works) and the RITA (published works), were announced.  The notification calls went out early in the day and were finished by 3pm CST.  I believe the maximum number of entries in each group is around 1200, so imagine 2400 people anxiously biting their nails, swilling pepto-bismal or chewing antacid tablets, as they waited for their phones to ring.  Knowing that only ten percent of the entrants would make it to the final round. Yours truly was included in the nervous throng, and my call never came. 

 I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t make the final cut because really, who doesn’t want to be chosen?  Remember when you lined up as a kid for volleyball, kickball, softball, whatever, as you waited to hear someone call your name? And you remained on the sidelines—unchosen!  Okay, now you’re with me.  Sometimes it worked out and sometimes it didn’t.  But you were always a little bit anxious while you waited, right?  Even if you didn’t give a rat’s patootie about playing, you still wanted to be chosen.

But even though yesterday didn’t bring me a Golden Heart nomination, it was still a banner day.  I placed second in the First Coast Romance Writers Beacon contest for Unpublished writers.  Now, I know I promised a boatload of tears if I didn’t win, but this time, that pink dress came with sexy shoes as a bonus.  One of the judges of my section of the draw, an editor from a major publishing house, made a request to read my manuscript in full.  I know what you’re thinking.  Reading is not buying and you’re TOTALLY right.  Reading is just that—reading with no promises made.  But let me tell you, it’s not easy to get in front of those eyes, so I’m going to bask in the glow for just a little while.

The editor request was plenty of good news for one day but that’s not all.  I owe the wonderful and sharkly Janet Reid, a debt of gratitude and a bottle of scotch for giving the advice to all bloggers/writers/website owners, to make sure a contact email is listed someplace on your site.  Because of that, one of the other judges, an agent (oh la la!), contacted me and asked to read the manuscript.  Say it with me again, “reading is not buying or an offer of representation,” but it’s nice to be the pretty girl in the room for a change.

All that to say, I’m probably the happiest one of the group of non-finalists ever produced, and with very good reason. 

 You can bet I’ll be spending the next couple of weeks weeding and pruning my manuscript like I was the head gardener at Kew.  So wish me luck and cake.


Judy Croome said...

WOW! Great news indeed. There can only ever be one winner of the Golden Heart, but there's more than one type of winning and getting an AGENT to actually request your ms is like that!! I know reading is buying, but it IS a big achievement and definitely worth a gigantic slice of cake (or two!!) Well done, Pamala and good luck with the weeding! :)
Judy (South Africa)

Judy Croome said...

I meant "reading is NOT buying..."

Pamala Knight said...

Thanks Judy! I'm very excited and buckling down to get things into the best shape possible.

Have a great day.

elegantextracts said...

But... but... reading is the first step and second place in a writing contest is HUGE! This is just the start of it all, sweetheart and I can't wait to see what comes of it. Fingers and toes crossed!

Pamala Knight said...

Thank you Teresa darling! I know that it all has to start with the read, and I'll remind myself that making it this far is a good thing.

Happy Sunday to you.


Eliza Evans said...

I'm so chuffed for you, my friend. These may not be offers, but you're much closer than you were even a few days ago!

It definitely made my never-a-bride day much brighter, hearing your news.

Pamala Knight said...

Thanks Liz! You're absolutely right--I'm much closer than I was and very excited to be there. Even if its back to square one in a few days, this will always be the balm that soothed my soul on GH announcement day, right?

And your turn is coming soon.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Oh, wow! That is FANTASTIC!! I'm crossing your fingers for you because, well, it's fun to have full requests, but I imagine an offer from an editor or agent would be unbelievably thrilling. Good luck!

Pamala Knight said...

Thank you Caryn!! I'm working away on polishing the submission. Once I've clicked the send button, I'm sure it will be eyes, toes, fingers, legs and anything else I can get crossed, lol.

Marilyn Brant said...

Still grinning for you about this, dear Pamala ;). You know I'm pulling for you!!!! xoxox

trainee writer said...

Congratulations and good luck with the reading.Your good things out number the bad.Sending positive vibes your way.

Pamala Knight said...

Hi Catherine! Thank you for the encouragement and positive vibes, both of which I'll need in buckets. Let's hope that next time I report on this situation, it'll be good news.