Wow! I’m a finalist in the Romance Writers of America®’s Golden Heart® contest, the most prestigious contest for unpubbed romance writers out there.
Entering is like playing the lottery. You send off your entry and a nice fee, hoping against hope that your work will be chosen, but figuring it most likely won’t. Then on announcement day, you try to pretend you’re not waiting for the phone to ring, even as you threaten the family with bodily harm if they tie up the line.
Today I had to take my son to a doctor’s appointment (just a check up), so I was keeping busy and not—yeah right—thinking about it at all. I was periodically checking my email on my iPhone only to see who I knew that had been selected. (And I have a bridge to sell you…)
The doctor stepped out to write something up for us and I pulled out my phone and spotted a voicemail. From Lori Handeland “at RWA”! And I just started giggling. I was afraid to get my hopes up, but really, how many times have I ever received a call from someone at RWA? Um, never! And especially on Golden Heart/RITA announcement day.
The next thirty minutes were torture, but as soon as we got to the car, I called Lori back. Aack, direct to voicemail!
I gave the phone to my son with strict instructions on how we’d handle it if she called while I was driving, put on my seatbelt, and she called back.
It wouldn’t surprise me if I was her least expressive call, but I’d had thirty minutes to giggle and get used to the idea, so she didn’t get the first shock, just the second oh-thank-God-it’s-really-about-the-Golden-Heart shock. 😉
I’m still kind of in a daze, but so excited. My jaw hurts from smiling, and I’ve done little on the computer but respond to emails, tweets, and Facebook posts. It’s like being newly engaged. Or pregnant.
Being a Golden Heart finalist doesn’t guarantee I’ll sign an agent or sell my work, but it’s at least a sign that I’m moving in the right direction with my craft. And it may just open a few doors.
I’ll step through as many as I can.
Congrats to all my friends and peers who finaled in either the Golden Heart, or the RITA (for published authors)! See you all in NYC.