The Romance Writers of America's RITA awards were announced this past Saturday night. I was fortunate enough to have my first book, STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT, be a finalist in two categories. Of course, the downside of being a double finalist is having two chances to lose, which is exactly what happened.
Thankfully I didn't get my hopes up too high and really didn't expect to win, though I did prepare something for my editor to read if it happened, since I couldn't be at the ceremony. As nice as it would have been to win, what would have meant the most to me would have been the chance to acknowledge some people who truly deserved it for their part in making the book what it was. But of course, I don't need an award to do that. If there's one thing I've learned, it's how important it is to express gratitude for those who've helped us along the way when we have the chance. To that end, here's the speech that went unused on Saturday night:
STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT is a book I honestly didn’t think would ever be published, let alone recognized in any way, so having it be acknowledged really is beyond anything I ever imagined. Thank you to RWA and the judges for this honor. I’d like to thank my editor, Sean Mackiewicz, for pulling my query from the slush and thinking this story might be worth something, and for absolutely everything that followed. Thank you to everybody at Intrigue and at Harlequin for their enthusiasm, support and hard work on the book’s behalf. Special thanks to Vicki in the proofreading department for her keen eye.
I’d like to thank my friends who’ve always been encouraging about my writing even when I really didn’t believe them, and the Intrigue authors past and present whose books made me dream of joining their ranks and who have been so welcoming once I finally did.
And finally, thank you to my grandmother, who used to pick up the Intrigues for me every month back before I could buy them for myself, who bought me that first ream of paper when I started my own attempt on an old typewriter, and who died suddenly just before the book came out and who never got to see it.
I hope you'll join me in congratulating the winners, as well as take the time to remember and thank those who've helped you in your own journey. If there's anyone who hasn't read it but would like to, I have a Larger Print copy of STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT to give away. One winner will be chosen late tomorrow. All you have to do to enter is make a comment.