I have some spectacular news to share with you. Well, spectacular for me anyway. I’m very excited to announce that my debut novel, Show No Weakness, won the 2012 RONE Award in the category of Contemporary: Jocks, Cops and Cowboys. (BTW, RONE stands for Reward of Novel Excellence!!)
If you can remember back in April, I found out that Show No Weakness had made it into the second round of the RONE Awards based on this review: InD’tale . (I’m sure you’ll at least remember all the shameless groveling for votes)
The second round had me sweating a bit because it was based on reader votes. Basically a popularity contest, and I’ve never been known to be popular. (Hence the need to grovel for votes) As it turned out, I may not have thousands of followers or fans, but those I do have are true friends and they really pulled through for me. Especially my admittedly large family.
At the beginning of June I received the awesome news that I’d placed first in the second round of the contest. Amazing and humbling. And I thank my supporters from the very bottom of my heart. As far as I was concerned, I was already a winner at that point. Round three involved having my novel read by qualified judges. I looked forward to my story standing on its own merits, but I refused to harbour any undue expectations.
Last night, in Las Vegas, the winners of all the different categories were announced at the Golden Nugget in a formal ceremony. I’d sincerely wished to attend, but between the job and real life commitments, I couldn’t make it happen.
I’d thought about the looming deadline off and on for the past few weeks, but chose not to dwell on it because I honestly didn’t believe my chances were good. This was my first published book, I don’t have a very visible on-line presence and even my fellow authors don’t know me well. None of that mattered, I guess. They were judging my book, not me.
Yesterday was a jam-packed busy day. I was alone at the office, and immediately after work, I picked up my little grandsons. We went out for dinner, we had an appointment for studio pictures, we played at McDonald’s Playland as a reward for taking nice pictures and then it was bath time. After the boys went home I watched the news and a football game I’d recorded. It was after 11 by time I turned the TV off and never once during the entire day did the significance of that evening twig.
My bad. Not that I wasn’t honoured and excited, I certainly was – and am. As I said before, I just didn’t think there was any point in contemplating a win.
As I went to shut down my computer, before dragging my tired butt to bed, I decided to check my emails and there, in my inbox, was one from my publisher with the word Congrats in the subject line. For the briefest nano second I questioned why she’d be congratulating me. I certainly haven’t broken any sales records. Then it hit and I was all, “No way!!!” as I opened the email. Yes way!! Most definitely yes way!!!
I immediately channeled my inner Sally Fields. “They like me, they really like me.” Of course it wasn’t me they liked. It was my book, but I’m totally good with that. I resisted the urge to wake the hubby, but I did get a little giddy on Facebook and Twitter. In an understated way, of course. 🙂
I’ve worked hard to write the best darn books I could. And I’ve waited a frustratingly long time to be published. Last night in Las Vegas, my efforts were, in part, rewarded and I can now proudly call myself an award-winning author.
Thank you to everyone who played a part in this achievement. My family and friends who voted for me and supported me. My publisher, who took the chance on an unknown author (she also graciously accepted my award for me and will mail me the trophy). InD’Tale Magazine for holding this contest, and the judges who read and thankfully enjoyed my novel.
This is the beautiful badge I was given: