Friday, May 16, 2014

Romantic Times Award Ceremony

(Subtitled: In Which I Did Not Trip or Cry, so I'm Calling it a Win)

After the drama of cancelled flights yesterday, my husband made it to New Orleans with half an hour to spare before the Awards Ceremony. Thank goodness, because I'm pretty sure I couldn't have physically made myself walk into that ballroom without him next to me. I was starstruck from the word go. Eloisa James, Mary Robinette Kowal, Tess Gerritsen, Lee Child . . . how on earth did my odd debut novel land me in such company? We shouldn't even be breathing the same air!

What a wonderful, generous group of writers and fans. I love the mystery community, but I have to say that the romance community has an energy and warmth that is unique. I will definitely be returning to an RT convention in future--hopefully with friends in tow so my anxious, introverted self has some help in letting go :)

For those interested, you can read my brief speech below.

And thank you. Yes, you. Every single one of you is part of this magical life of mine and I'm so grateful. Kisses and beads for everyone!!

In 2005, I attended my first conference, eager to pitch my new manuscript The Boleyn King. My enthusiasm was slightly dampened by the agent who declined to meet with me because, she said, "Your book is not historical fiction." 

In 2008, my second son was diagnosed with cancer at the age of eleven, touching off a year of chemo, radiation, hospitals, and a bone-deep fear. 

Today I get to celebrate twice. 

First, because today Romantic Times assures me that The Boleyn King is indeed historical fiction. 

And second, because today is my now healthy son's eighteenth birthday. 

I thank Romantic Times Book Reviews--the editors, staff, and especially reviewers--for their kindness. 

The readers who seem to like my alternate version of historical fiction. 

My agent, Tamar Rydzinski, who is my still center in the chaos of publishing. 

My editor, Kate Miciak, who claims I am the recipient of the strangest editorial email she has ever sent. 

My husband, with whom I have been in love since I was seventeen years old. 

And if there is anyone here in need of hope in writing or in life, I offer the phrase that pulled me through countless times of trouble in the past years. The words of St. Julian of Norwich: "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." 

Thank you. 

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