Monday, March 18, 2013

Passing on the Tiara: Sitting Out the 2013 Golden Heart Awards

Well, it's almost here. A little over a week and it'll be Notification Day, when all the phone calls and emails go out to this year's RWA Golden Heart (and RITA) finalists. If you're a romance writer or author, this is like the announcements of the Academy Award nominees. It's a Very Big Thing. The kind of thing you take the day off work for (*raises hand*) to wait by the phone, madly messaging your peers and posting congrats as the finalists names are slowly...tortuously...revealed over the course of the day.

This is how it goes...

Up to eight finalists are announced per category; it's based on the number of entries so you never really know the weight-challenged soprano has sung until something is posted in the #8 slot. Until then, there's always that last little glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, you'll get the call. And there always seems to be a few who sink into dejection and heartbreak only to discover their notice came in via email (due to technical issues or what have you).

It's not even unheard of for finalists to post audio recordings of the moment they read that magical message, which usually goes something like this...

[reading email] ...I'm happy to inform you that your novel [insert title here] is a FINALIST for the [insert year here] GOLDEN HEART AWARDS! [insert SQEEEEEEEEEE! OMG, OMG, OMG! Hehehehehe! and various tearful "I can't believe its!"]

At which point the finalists are whisked off into a frantic Never Never Land of Golden Heartdom which includes press deadlines, photo shoots, private loops, champagne receptions, exclusive memberships and an agent and/or editor rush that has been compared to "getting hit by a freight train and struck by lightning during a tornado."

Few are prepared for the madness. Fewer still, usually the savvy prior-finalists, know what a monstrous opportunity has just been laid at their feet like a shiny yellow brick road, much less how to navigate it to full advantage.

So it's with a little bit of sadness that I'm preparing to pass on my tiara...for reals this year. For the first time in three years, I'm a non-starter. I have no horse in this race. Some other jockeys are going to get that winning ride and I'll be cheering them on from the finish line in my enormous, flowery hat.

We'll be posting on Notification Day inviting all new 2013 Golden Heart finalists to chime in and ask questions. We'll have a lot to pass on!

(And we just might have some news to share on that day, too.)

Please join us here on the big day, next Tuesday, March 26th.

Agent Chat

Last week I had a wonderful update and planning session via phone call with my agent, Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor Literary, Inc. We recapped, brainstormed and plotted our next steps in pursuit of selling my first novel, the SFR formerly known as P2PC. (Hoping to reveal the new title soon.)

Meanwhile, I'm working on a couple of SFR short stories and starting what I hope will be the final sweeping round of revisions for my second novel, The Outer Planets, based on some fantastic feedback from co-blogger, Sharon Lynn Fisher. (Thanks, Sharon!)

In other news, Amanda has just published her own book--a self-help book for authors and writers looking to build their platform titled The Extroverted Writer: An Authors Guide to Marketing and Building a Platform. This is one area I truly need some help with, so you can bet I snapped up a copy for my Kindle. (You can take a peek here. It's currently one of the top sellers in three categories on Amazon.) I hope to post an interview with Amanda about her book in the near future.

As always, we had a great talk that left me energized and enthusiastic that good things will come. (We've got that waiting part down pat.)

No Midnight Train (or Red Eye Flight) to Georgia

Well, it's official. I'll not be attending the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia this year. I believe Donna will be our sole representative, which will be a definite departure from the usual after having three reps in attendance for the last three years, but I'm sure Donna will be filing a fantastic report. I also have this niggling premonition it's going to be one fantabulous conference and I'll probably regret missing it.

My decision was based on a commitment to focusing my attention on writing this year. There are only so many hours in a day...or a year.

Ping Pong

Much thanks to Pippa and Donna for carrying the lion's share posting excellent content for this blog. I always love reading your posts, as I know our readers do, too.

Sharon, wising you all the best in the days and weeks ahead. You face every obstacle with so much strength and perseverance, you're an inspiration to us all.

~~~ * ~~~


  1. Back in the day (like waaaay back), they didn't have the sassy support for the GH finalists. It's pretty amazing to see. Am probably not going to national this year either. I think WorldCon is around then and I'm signed up for that.

  2. I think it gets a little more involved every year, Pauline. It is wonderful to be part of something that bonds so many writers, but the GH whirlwind can get a bit insane at times, too!

    Thanks for stopping by. :)

  3. *sniff*I'll be so lonely there in Atlanta all by myself! :-( I'm hoping maybe my agent will be there and I can actually meet her face-to-face and/or I can meet up with some of our Firebirds from last year. It will be very different going without the pressure of GH (I didn't enter this year either)or trying to pitch an agent. Maybe I'll just lounge by the pool with a cool drink . . .

  4. I can't believe it's that time of year again. It creeps up so fast! I will be sorely missing our annual reunion. :( At least we had two last year to sort of make up for it!

    Thanks much for the kind words, Laurie, and thanks to you all for the wonderful support.

    Good luck to all who entered GH and Rita this year!

  5. Wow, it only seems five minutes ago all the GH announcements were going out! I kind of feel I've missed out on doing things like these.


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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.