March 25th, 2010

GOING TOO FAR finaled in the Ritas!!!

If you are a romance fan, you are saying, "WOW!" If you are not, you are saying, "It whatted in the who?"

The Ritas are named after the first president of Romance Writers of America, Rita Clay Estrada, and they are the biggest, bestest thing that can happen you as a romance writer besides good sales, bundles of money, and kind e-mail from readers. About 1,000 books compete in 12 categories and are judged by other published authors. So being ranked as a finalist by my romance writing peers = AFFIRMATION and it is awesome.

The finalists are listed here. You will note that I have stiff competition in the YA category!

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro
Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick

Congrats to all the finalists! I know you are having as lovely a morning as I am!

How did I find out? Well, I knew the calls were going out today, so when my cell phone rang I snatched it up and talked to...

Vicki: Hey.

Me: WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME WHEN THE RITA CALLS ARE GOING OUT???

Vicki: BECAUSE I FINALED IN THE RITAs!!!

Hooray! Vicki finaled in the contemporary category with TALK ME DOWN! CONGRATULATIONS VICKI!

And then I got another call from Stephanie Feagan.

Me: Hello Stephanie Feagan!

Stephanie: Hello Jennifer! Do you know why I'm calling? Did you think I was calling to remind you to pay your dues?

Me: I LOVE YOU STEPHANIE FEAGAN!

So now what? Well, the awards ceremony is on July 31, the culmination of the RWA National Conference. The Ritas are given to published authors and the Golden Heart to unpubbed folks, and I remember from 2005 when Vicki won the Golden Heart that RWA really treats the finalists like royalty and makes them feel that they have done something special. So I will look forward to that, and grin a little more broadly as I copyedit this pile of articles about choosing a wheelchair, and later this afternoon I may even buy myself a Cadbury Creme Egg to celebrate.