Posted by crocodesigns Jul 2 2011, 4:44 am in Golden Heart, RITA winner
Every year RWA ends their national conference on a splendid note by having a HUGE awards ceremony to announce the winners of the Golden Heart (for unpublished authors) and the Rita award (for published authors).
As you all know, the awards have special significance to the Banditas because we were all Golden Heart finalists back in 2006. That’s where we met and bonded and we continue to be attached to the yearly awards ceremony.
Even those of us who were unable to attend the conference this year were gathered round our laptops in eager anticipation. Sven (who stayed home this year so that Lars and Paolo could attend) made us a huge batch of hot buttered popcorn, and there’s plenty of bubbly for everyone.
Please join us as we toast this year’s Golden Heart and Rita winners:
Golden Heart for Regency Romance: The Proper Miss’s Guide to Bad Behavior by Anne Barton
Golden Heart for Historical Romance: The Dark Lady by Maire Shelley
Golden Heart for Inspirational: At His Command by Ruth Kaufman
Golden Heart for Young Adult: Irresistible by Suzanne Kaufman Kalb
Golden Heart for Contemporary Series Romance: Lost and Found by Jo Anne Banker
Golden Heart for Contemporary Series Suspense/Adventure: Stolen Lullaby by Robin Perini
Golden Heart for Romantic Suspense: Spy in the Mirror by Diana Van Dyke
Golden Heart for Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: Nearly Departed in Deadwood by Ann Charles
Golden Heart for Paranormal Romance: The Blood Sworn King by Tirsze Ray
Golden Heart for Contemporary Single Title Romance: The Sinners by Lisa Connelly
Rita for Regency Historical Romance: The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig
Rita for Historical Romance: His at Night by Sherry Thomas
Rita for Inspirational Romance: In Harms Way by Irene Hannon
Rita for Young Adult Romance: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Rita for Contemporary Series Romance: Welcome Home, Cowboy by Karen Templeton
Rita for Series Romance Suspense/Adventure: The Moon that Night by Helen Brenna
Rita for Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas
Rita for Romantic Suspense: Silent Scream by Karen Rose
Rita for Romantic Novella: “Shifting Sea” by Virginia Kantra in Burning Up
Rita for Paranormal Romance: Unchained: The Dark Forgotten by Sharon Ashwood
Rita for Contemporary Single Title: Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis
Rita for Best First Book: Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner
SUPER CONGRATS to all the winners! It’s wonderful to see familiar names and also fun to see brand new authors with great new books to try!
Do you like to watch award shows? Which are your favorites?
How many of the winning books have you read?
Posted by crocodesigns Jul 31 2010, 4:49 am in Aunty Cindy explains it all for you, Awards, Golden Heart, RITA
posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
Tonight’s the night! Saturday night of RWA’s National Conference is the BIG awards ceremony! This is the ceremony where romance writers honor their own with the Rita and Golden Heart awards, our industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, Emmys, or Grammys.
As you know, the Banditas were all finalists in the 2006 Golden Heart contest. That is where we “found” each other, and so this award has a very special place in all our hearts! In case you didn’t know, the Golden Heart contest recognizes outstanding unpublished romance manuscripts in ten different categories. Up to 1200 entries are judged by members of RWA and are narrowed down to around 100 finalists. Editors from acquiring romance publishers judge the final round, and winners receive a beautiful pendant.
This year, our Bandita KJ Howe is a finalist in the Contemporary Series Suspense/Adventure category. KJ is a fantastic writer and we are all pulling for her to be the BIG WINNER in her category tonight!
Did you know the Rita award was named for RWA’s first president Rita Clay Estrada? (Be sure to file that away for future trivia contests.) This award is for outstanding published romance novels and novellas and the contest has twelve categories. Once again, approximately 1200 entries are narrowed by judges to about 100 finalists. Winners receive a beautiful statuette much like an Oscar or Emmy.
This year A Not-So-Perfect Past by our Bandita Beth Andrews is a Rita finalist in the Contemporary Series Romance category. So many of us Banditas and BBs LOVED Nina and Dillon’s story and we will all be hoping that our Wonder-Beth will be the first Bandita to bring home the lovely Rita statue!
There are many wonderful writers and books up for Golden Heart and Rita awards this year. By this time tomorrow, it will all be over and the winners will be announced. We’ll get to see all the fabulous pictures and share the triumphs. But they are ALL WINNERS just to have been finalists!
Awards are so much fun! We all deserve to win one once in awhile. For instance, Posh, Jo-Mama, and I, along with Lars, Marcus, Zach, and Paolo all deserve a “Holding-Down-The -Fort” award! What about you? What kind of award would you create and who would win it?
Posted by Kate Carlisle Mar 25 2010, 4:19 am in Golden Heart, RITAs
As you already know by now (thanks to Donna’s blog from Tuesday!), today is the official RITA and Golden Heart contest call day.
Somebody out there is going to get THE CALL!!!
If it’s you, we want to know! Leave us a comment and we’ll celebrate with you!!
But meanwhile, here in the Lair, we Banditas are on edge. Even if we don’t have an entry in the contest, we know someone—make that many someones—who do. So you’ll forgive us if our nerves are showing!
Will the phone ever ring??
Forget trying to concentrate on blogging today. As Donna mentioned, most of us are still contest whor–uh, divas! Yes, we all still love to enter contests. And can you blame us? After all, it was just three short years ago that we Banditas first met after we each received the call telling us that our entry had finaled in the prestigious Golden Heart contest. (Really? Only three years ago? Seems like a lifetime!) So yes, contests–especially the RITA and Golden Heart–are near and dear to our hearts. And no, there won’t be much concentrating on important topics today. We’re all just going to sit around giggling and shrieking together. Please join us. Share your news!
Wait! Was that the phone???
No, sorry, that was the cat. Sorry, kitty.
Anyway, do come into the Lair and share your news! Piero, Sebastian and Travis, our cabana boys for the day, will be around to offer you a lovely glass of champagne. We’re toasting to all the good news.
And don’t miss the three-tiered deluxe warm and gooey chocolate fountain. It’s always the best place to drown your sorrows should the need arise. Don’t feel bad. We’ve all been there.
But we prefer to think positive thoughts.
Good luck, everyone!!!
So while we’re all waiting for the phone to ring, here’s a subject I’ve been thinking about lately. I spent the last few days with some author friends and most of the talk centered around big contemporary romance. Is it making a comeback? I hope so! What about you? Love it? Hate it? Why? Why not? Who are your favorites? I’ll start the list with Susan Mallery (can’t wait for her Fool’s Gold series to begin!), Lisa Kleypas (loved Smooth Talking Stranger) and Kristan Higgins (I’ve read Catch of the Day at least three times already). How about you?
Whoa—did I just hear a phone ringing??
Posted by Donna MacMeans Mar 23 2010, 4:01 am in Academy Awards, Bandita contests, Golden Heart, RITA, Romcon
by Donna MacMeans
Everyone has been a little high strung in the lair this week.
You might recall that a contest, RWA’s 2006 Golden Heart contest, brought us all together so many years ago.
Now, one usually doesn’t enter the Golden Heart without having had som
e success at smaller regional contests. Consequently you could say that the banditas are a collection of successful contest sluts.
I’m afraid the sluttiness doesn’t go away once one becomes published. There’s a whole array of regional contests for published authors. While the prize in an unpublished contest is often an editor read – for the published author, it’s just another credential to add to their biography (and sometimes a framable certificate or plaque). But the grand prize remains RWA’s RITA contest which earns the author, besides bragging rights, a
So why are we antsy in the lair? Thursday is the day the finalists in the Golden Heart/RITA contest are announced. First the finalists receive a phone call, then the names go up on the contest website and the congratulations begin flying. This year the winners of the Golden Heart and RITA contests will be announced in late July at the RWA convention in Nashville. Of cour
se, we’ll announce any bandita finalists here and post their good news on the scroll. For more information on the RWA convention, follow this link: www.Rwanational.org
The nice thing about the Golden Heart/RITA contest is that much like the Academy awards, the contest is judged by peers. For the Golden Heart, scores are collected from five RWA member judges to determine the finalists. A panel of editors determine the winner. For the RITA, scores are collected from five other published author judges to determine the finalists. Then another panel of author judges chose the winner.
But while we wait for Thursday’s announcement, I thought I’d explain some of the differences between the big published author contests.
Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards – Every year the reviewers at Romantic Times Book reviews magazine nominate various books/authors for a variety of awards. The reviewers choose the winner in each category and announce the winners at their convention (which this
year will be in Columbus, Ohio) in late April. The nice thing about this contest is that there is no entry fee or submission process. If you’ve published a book in the past year, you are
automatically entered. This year we have three banditas as finalists: Christine Wells/ Wicked Little Games, Anna Campbell/Tempt the Devil and Kate Carlisle/Homicide in Hard Cover. As I’ll be at the RT Convention next month, I’ll be cheering loudly for my fellow banditas to win. For more information on the RT convention, check out this link: http://guest.cvent.com/EVENTS
RomCon – This is the first year for this contest, but the prizes are simply amazing. This is the only contest with a significant financial award for the winner, but it is an expensive contest to enter and, unlike the RT award, one must enter. Like many of the smaller regional contests, the judges are screened readers. The finalists will be announced next month on April 30th. The winners will be announced at the RomCon convention in early July in Denver. For more information, check out this link. http://www.romconinc.com/
So my question for you is – do contest wins or finals make a difference to you as a reader? Not everyone enters their books into contests due to cost factors. We banditas enjoy the validation that a contest win or final can bring. Are you a contest slut? How about in another venue? Before I started writing I used to enter my paintings in local art shows. I guess once a slut, always a slut (grins). So what do you think?
Posted by Kate Carlisle Mar 25 2009, 4:05 am in favorite books, Golden Heart, RITA
RITA and Golden Heart calls are going out today! Somebody’s going to get THE CALL!!!
If it’s you, we want to know! Leave us a comment and we’ll celebrate with you!!
But meanwhile, the Banditas are on edge. Even if we don’t have an entry in the contests this year, we’re nervous for our friends. How can we pay attention to anything but the telephone? Will it ever ring?
We can all relate, right? After all, we Banditas met when we all finaled in the Golden Heart in 2006. I’ll bet we all remember that day, right? Good things happen on RITA/GH Day, right? But it’s very stressful! It means so much! Who has time to blog???
Deep breaths, everyone.
Since we’re all in a tizzy and unable to concentrate, today’s post won’t be about the weather (It’s a sunny 74 degrees today and I wore a wool jacket. *sigh*) or deadlines (Ack! Don’t ask! The book’s due this week!!) or the core emotional theme of my book (huh?) because nobody cares! We’re all staring at the telephone!
I think we need a small distraction while we wait for the phone to ring, so I’ve got a pop quiz for you! You’ll like this quiz. It’s all about our favorite books and authors.
I’ll go first.
What book is on your nightstand now? Jennifer Lyon’s BLOOD MAGIC
What was your favorite book when you were a child? Cinderella
Who are your top five authors? Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Pat Conroy, Robert Crais, Julie Garwood
What book did you fake reading? One Hundred Years of Solitude
What book did you buy for the cover? Hmm. Have I ever done that?
What book changed your life? Catch-22
Favorite line(s) from a book: I’m thinking, I’m thinking. Any suggestions?
What book would you most want to read again for the first time? The Prince of Tides
Whether you take the quiz or not, one random commenter will win a $15 Amazon gift certificate!
And don’t forget to let us know if you GOT THE CALL!!!
Posted by Donna MacMeans Dec 3 2008, 5:06 am in Donna MacMeans, Golden Heart, Susan Heino
I’d like you all to meet a good friend and talented historical author, Susan Heino. Susan was the 2008 Golden Heart winner in Regency, and as you can tell from this interview, writes with a bit of humor (grin). As several in the lair have recently submitted entries to the 2009 Golden Heart contest, I thought it might be fun to relive the experience with Susan. That’s us in the photo to the right – me in my funky hat and Susan with the big smile. So without further ado…Here’s Susan!
Thanks so much for inviting me to be a guest at Romance Bandits. I can’t hold a candle to some of the witty repartee I’ve seen other guests and Banditas post, so I’m not even going to try. Donna, please assure everyone my books are a whole lot more interesting than I am. Pretty please? Lie if you have to!
Somehow, I don’t think lying will be necessary. Before we start talking about writing, though. Why don’t you tell us about yourself?
I’m 27, descended from English royalty, and have often been mistaken for Angelina Jolie. Except that I’m better looking and have adopted 47 children from 3rd world countries AND cured cancer. And my husband was never married to Jennifer Aniston. Okay, only that last one is true. Unless he’s been hiding something from me…
Really, I’m just the ordinary housewife who still likes to climb trees, thinks snakes are cool, and writes Historical Romance. I also have an unusual fondness for chickens, and the color green. My family thinks I’m weird. It seems to be working for me, though. This past summer I won a Golden Heart, snagged an agent, and signed a two-book contract with Berkley Publishing. Plus, I have two beautiful, healthy children who only act like they’ve been adopted from a 3rd world country. Or Jupiter.
So, Donna, what else do you want to know about me?
I see the Golden Rooster has picked up interest. He’s a bit of a Romeo – but I suppose that’s to be expected when you hang out with romance writers.
Tell us about your background (I have some inside knowledge here) and how that affects your writing.
I have a theatre background, believe it or not. After bouncing through the Fine Arts, English, and Secondary Education departments in college I somehow landed in Theatre. It was a good fit, and about time, too, since Daddy declared I either must finally graduate or he would pull the plug on the ole’ money fountain. But during my last couple years of college I had a great mentor who encouraged me in playwriting and helped me find my wings. After college I landed a few low-paying theatre gigs—not to mention the various non-paying ones—but through it all I mostly supported myself with my brilliant typing and phone-answering skills. (Translation: I was the perky administrative assistant who made great coffee and spent way too much time chatting with the clients.) When wifedom and motherhood came along, I left the theatre and the administrative assisting but not the writing. I took my brilliant typing skills, my English department grammar expertise, plus what I’d learned in the theatre about timing, character building, pacing, humor, and life in general and focused it all on romance. Who’d have thought such a checkered past could eventually get so mixed up together into one constructive lump?
What was it like to win the Golden Heart?
Winning the Golden Heart really and truly is just as wonderful as I’d always imagined. It started one sunny day in March when my Fairy Godmother called to tell me I was a finalist. (Okay, it wasn’t my Fairy Godmother. It was an RWA representative, but you get the idea.) Suddenly it was as if I had an invitation to a royal ball at the shining castle on top of the hill. I was floating on air—no way it could get any better than that. Soaring on fairy dust, I rode a magic pumpkin all the way out to San Francisco. Then I swirled around in my fancy new gown and danced out my dream in the glow of agent and editor attention. Then, just when the clock began to strike twelve and I expected the magic to go away, the Prince looked deep into my eyes, handed me the glass slipper and told me get up on stage and deliver that acceptance speech I was supposed to have written. Oops—I sort of missed that part. Still, I’ve never been one to shy away from the limelight, so I muddled through the moment and absolutely loved every minute of it. I can’t adequately describe how honored I am to be among the ranks of so many talented and gracious Golden Heart Finalists, the 2008 Pixie Chicks as well as those from years past.
Then, shortly after San Francixco you had a very important call. We LOVE to hear call stories here in the lair. Can you share yours?
During the course of the months leading up to the RWA conference in July my manuscript was requested by an agent. Two editors had already requested it from other contests I’d won (and neither had rejected it, yet!) but this was the first agent to show interest. I was very excited to meet with her at the conference in San Francisco, but amazingly two other agents crawled out of the woodwork to express an interest. Yikes! Was I going to have to make a decision? I hate making decisions. I asked everyone to wait until I had time to go home, catch up on sleep and think clearly. In the end, though, it wasn’t a difficult decision. On the pumpkin, er, plane ride home I thought it through. It just made sense to go with the agent who loved my work the most, the one who offered representation even before I won that pretty little necklace. So I called Cori Deyoe with 3-Seas Literary Agency the day after I returned from San Francisco and gladly accepted her offer of representation. She’s done great things for people I know and trust, so it was an easy choice. And she doesn’t think I’m weird for collecting animals, so that helped. Turns out, signing with her was not a mistake. It was not a moment too soon, either. The very next day I got a phone call from Berkley Publishing! An editor there had been looking at my manuscript for months but finally they were ready to make an offer. It was a strange sensation; I remember hearing those words, but they just didn’t quite register in my brain. You see, I was sick. I had a raging head cold and jet lag and that euphoric Golden Heart meltdown. I wasn’t even sure what day it was, let alone be able to process this whole concept of actually getting an offer from a real, live New York publisher! So my groggy twenty-second The Call went something like this:
Very Important New York Editor: Susan? Hello, this is Leis Pederson from Berkley Publishing in New York.
Me: (Wonders if she’s ever met this person before. Remembers to be nice and tries to sit up. Gives up.) Oh, hey there. How ya doing?
VINYE: Very well, thank you. I’ve read your manuscript and I really love it. A lot. It made me laugh.
Me: (Blows nose.) Gosh, that’s nice. (Is fairly certain she sees pretty pink sparkles floating around her living room.)
VINYE: In fact, we’d like to make an offer for it. Would you be willing to discuss this?
Me: (Sniffles. Coughs. Gags. Grins stupidly.) Yeah, sure. I’m okay to discuss that. (Wonders if room really is spinning or if that cold medicine said every 6 hours instead of every 4 hours. But the pink sparkles are nice…)
Leis proceeded to say lovely things about my book and to make a really nice offer that would have had any normal person jumping up and down like a game-show contestant. I, sad to say, sneezed. I was totally happy on the inside, though. Somehow I remembered that people with agents usually let them do the negotiating so at some point I referred Leis to Cori. I’m hoping I managed to sound somewhat professional and not like I was blowing her off, but I probably sounded like I was blowing her off. I wasn’t—it was the cold medicine! Honest! But Leis did contact Cori and Cori had already contacted a couple other editors who’d expressed interest when I met them in San Francisco. All in all, Cori had five editors who asked to have a shot at the manuscript. Yeah, five! In the end, Cori negotiated a better offer from Berkley and I signed with them. I now have a two-book deal, the first scheduled for release in 2009 and the second in 2010. And that’s really nothing to sneeze at!
Can you tell us about your storyline?
MISTAKEN BY MOONLIGHT will be coming out in late 2009 through Berkley Publishing. This manuscript was my Golden Heart winner and I’m happy to say it’s also my first sale. I can’t wait! Hopefully readers will fall in love with Dashford and Evaline just like I did. The story starts out simply enough with a typical Regency setting—a lonely young lady alone in a moonlit garden meets a wandering lord who’s eager to avoid matrimony. It becomes somewhat less typical pretty early on, though, when we realize said lonely young lady is drunk off her gourd. Said wandering lord gladly tries to seduce her only to have her pass out in a sotted stupor. But he’s really a nice guy. He can’t just leave her to sleep it off out in the garden, can he? Of course not. He needs a quiet place to stash the senseless stranger. The only place he can think of, though, is his bed. When poor, senseless Evaline wakes up the next morning—with a killer hangover and no gentleman in sight—she thinks she’s done the unthinkable. She’s ruined for sure. Worse yet, she can’t even remember it! She’d like to remember it, though. She’ll just have to find this mysterious gentleman and try for another go ‘round, since the damage is already done. One good thing, however: at least he isn’t Lord Dashford, the dissolute scoundrel who wants to marry her for her money. Well, of course he is Dashford and of course he does want to marry her once he finds out she’s not just some random trollop, but he’s not nearly as desperate for her money as everyone thinks he is. That’s just a ruse because—well, it gets complicated. Eventually Dashford and Evaline do fall hopelessly in love, but their journey to happiness gets all mucked up along the way with meddling mothers, atrocious aunts, finagling former fiancés, sordid family secrets, multiple mistaken identities and—for good measure—a flood. But by heavens, the next time Evaline gets the chance to ruin herself she does end up remembering it!
This one sounds like so much fun, I can’t wait to see it on the stands. So what follows?
I’m just finishing up DECEPTION AT DAWN, another Regency Historical with characters from MISTAKEN BY MOONLIGHT. I really can’t say too much about it because some of the plot elements cross over between the two and I’m not into spoilers, but I’ve been having a blast writing it. The hero is hot and the heroine is a bit, er, unconventional. These characters carry some heavy baggage into this story, but I promise you’ll still find plenty of humor. So far my agent assures me it’s a great follow-up to MOONLIGHT. Hopefully we’ll see this one hit the shelves sometime in 2010. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a third and fourth book in this series, too, but that’s not etched in stone yet. A girl can dream, can’t she?
That she can – and this seems like a perfect note to turn the conversation over to our readers. Susan realized one of her dreams through her Golden Heart win followed by a sale. But we all carry dreams in our heart and hope that some of them will be realized in 2009. Tell us about some of your dreams, realized or not…or if not, tell us about your last drunken sotted stupor experience (grin).
In honor of Susan’s debut MISTAKEN BY MOONLIGHT, I’ll send a copy of THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT to the commentor she chooses as a winner.
Posted by Susan Sey Mar 29 2008, 4:02 am in contests, GH, Golden Heart, Golden Heart finalists, Guilty Pleasures, Susan Seyfarth
by Susan Seyfarth
So something really extraordinary happened to me yesterday. I got fan mail. Sort of.
I’m what we call an AYU in this business: an As Yet Unpublished. This makes it tough to get fan mail.
(It also makes it tough to get hate mail, so there’s the silver lining, I guess.) Anyway, one of the women who judged my manuscript Money, Honey for this year’s Golden Heart contest emailed to say she’d been pulling for it to final because she’d loved reading the partial so much. This just blew me away. First because, wow, what a nice thing to say. But second because nobody was ever supposed to love Money, Honey but me.
Without going into a lot of excruciating detail, let’s just say that I wrote MH during a particularly difficult phase of my life & as a result, the book is a little…um…dark. It’s not full of serial killers or child molesters or dog kickers or anything like that. Heaven forfend. It’s just got a really broody, pessimistic, emotionally closed off hero with a well-deserved criminal record. He’s hot as hell, yes, but good boyfriend material? Warm & fuzzy? Fully reformed & legitimately employed? Not so much. He’s difficult. Prickly. Dangerous. And maybe not in a good way.
And the heroine? Well. I gave her a backstory so viciously complicated & emotionally scarring that even my amazingly supportive critique partner said, “She can’t have lived through that
& turned out even remotely normal.”
Did I listen? Did I fix things? I did not. I wrote the damn book my own damn way & sent it off to the contest circuit where it got duly slaughtered. I shoved it under the bed where it belonged & figured I’d written the fabled Book of My Heart. You know the one that nobody will ever love but you, but you’re somehow compelled to write anyway? The story you’re longing to tell that has absolutely no commercial viability?
When Money, Honey hit the finals, I was stunned. It was like the universe had suddenly decided to reward me for indulging my quirks instead of sending the Rejection Express steaming through my mailbox every day. This was unprecedented. I ought to go nuts while the window of opportunity was open, right? So I started thinking about things I secretly enjoy that I don’t widely publicize. I polled my friends about their guilty pleasures. I quizzed my family. Here (in no particular order & without attribution to protect the innocent) is what I discovered we love but won’t necessarily admit to:
1) Smokin’ hot anti-heros with a razor-sharp edge. Doesn’t hurt if they’re really, really rich & just the tiniest bit cruel. Remember James Spader from Pretty in Pink? Yummers. (Okay, I’ll admit it. That one’s mine.)
2) Wine Coolers. Hello, high school. And yet, on a really hot summer’s evening? Admit it–a Bartles & Jaymes can go down pretty smooth.
3) Cheap Trick/Journey. This was a two way tie . I mean, come on. We all love these bands but nobody will own up to it. Sure, we all crank up the volume when we stumble across their songs on the radio, but who’ll admit to having the CD in the car? (Okay, I will. I love me some Cheap Trick.)
4) Trash TV. A show called “Plastic Surgery: Before & After” seemed to come up in conversation a lot. Wife Swap came up pretty often, too. I haven’t seen these ones, but I have a well publicized addiction to People magazine & Perez Hilton’s celebrity gossip site, so I have no room to act superior. People also admitted to loving Las Vegas, various soap operas, 90210 & Dawson’s Creek. (That last one was mine. I’m not ashamed. I loved Pacey.)
5) Insulting good food with cheap condiments. Tartar sauce on a $50 fish filet at a fancy restaurant. Mayo on fries. Ketchup on steak. I’ll admit to a predilection for cheap ice cream. You can keep your Ben & Jerry’s. Hang on to your Haagen Daaz. Scoop me up a big fat bowl of plain ol’ vanilla from a $3 family sized tub. Squirt on the Hershey’s & I’m there.
So how about you? If the universe really IS rewarding us this week for indulging our private quirks, now isn’t the time to hold back! What do you love that you hide? And reading romance doesn’t count. Not in the Lair.
Posted by Tawny Weber Mar 14 2008, 6:36 am in Golden Heart, superstition, Tawny Weber
by Tawny Weber
Today is Friday the Fourteenth. Ahhh, yes, we just escaped that dreaded Friday the Thirteenth by one day. Whew. The only thing worse could have been the thirteenth, filled with black cats, spilled salt and ladders to walk under. Ack – total bad luck! Are you superstitious? My first response would be to say, no I’m not. I love Friday the Thirteenth. Its always been lucky for me (got a fab kiss from my crush one memorable 13th), I have three black cats and spill things all the time. Then I realized I actually AM superstitious. Just not with traditional superstitions.
For instance, I used a very special pen to sign my first Harlequin contract. A gift from some amazing writers who I love to pieces, it’s engraved with my sale date and title. It was a ritual of delight, as I filled the gorgeous purple fountain pen with ink, signed that page, then toasted with champagne. Now, my second Harlequin contract I couldn’t find the pen. We’d built new cabinets and I knew it was in there somewhere, but had no clue where… so I went ahead and signed the contract with a plain ole pen. The results? Not nearly as positive as the first round. Insane line edits, an early release that affected numbers, promotion challenges… you name it. Let me tell ya, with my third contract due to arrive in the mail any day now, my purple pen is sitting right here on my desk, full of ink and waiting!
Another of my personal superstitions? Pajamas. Really!! The first year I finaled in the Golden Heart, back in 2004, I was still in my jammies on my way to get dressed having given up on getting a call, when the phone rang. 2005, I had just gotten up, still in my jammies when that GH call came in. 2006 the GH call woke me up! I was in my pajamas when I got THE CALL from my editor offering to buy Double Dare, and again when my agent offered me representation. I’ve always wondered if I’d have won at least once if I’d worn my pj’s to the award ceremony.
Before I sold, I was a total contest diva. I always color coordinated my entry, so the rubber band matched the clip, which matched the colored paper between the entry and synopsis. Which color depended on which manuscript it was -each had their own “feel” and was coordinated accordingly. (Hmmm, maybe this post is simply letting everyone know I’m a little crazy, rather than an ode to superstitions).
In a week and a half, the Golden Heart and RITA calls will go out. How many of us will sit there, waiting by the phone with a rabbit’s foot clenched in our fist, or a four leaf clover held between our fingers? Me, I’ll be in my jammies, of course.
Do you have any superstitions that are yours alone? Any special steps or rituals you follow? How does that work for you? Have you ever skipped it and regretted it? If so, do you think the power of your superstition (mind over matter… you think something bad is going to happen and your belief creates the result) plays into the results, or are you like me and my special pen, and realize how vital that superstition is after the fact?
Posted by Caren Crane Nov 16 2007, 5:01 am in Caren Crane, Golden Heart, writing contest
by Caren Crane
Contests. We love them, we loathe them. And by “we”, I mean all of us. Think about it. Did you ever, as a child (or maybe as an adult), squirm with anticipation waiting for the Miss America Pageant? How about the World Series? The World Cup, maybe? For the uber-geeks among us, the Scripps National Spelling Bee? Dancing With The Stars? Or, my personal favorite, the Winter Olympics? (what is cooler than the luge?!)
Competition appeals to some primal need we humans have to compete. To prove we are bigger, better, faster, more. Writers are not immune to contests, by any means. As a matter of fact, many of you know that the Banditas all have one thing in common: we were all 2006 Golden Heart finalists. Some of us have confessed to being a bit fixated on contests, entering more than a few at a time.
We sweat over entries, agonize over synopses, hammer those first three sentences or pages or chapters until they gleam and scream and beg for mercy. You will often hear us crowing (or is that the Golden Rooster?) about a Bandita being a finalist or placing in a contest. It works us all into a lather, let me tell you! A win for one Bandita reflects well on all Banditas (and honorary Banditas, too)!
But why do we care so much? Why not simply write and submit and write some more and submit some more? Frankly, it’s the rejection. All we get from most of our submissions is some form of “not for me”. And truthfully, all most of us get from a contest is a certificate or plaque or, if we’re very lucky, a piece of jewelry. Ah, but there is always the brass ring. The ring, my precioussssss!
*ahem* In our case, the brass ring is a request from an agent or editor wanting to read more. To read the whole manuscript. To buy the manuscript. It happens. We have seen it happen to writers we actually know! So we keep writing, submitting, writing some more…and entering contests. Right now, many of us AYU (as yet unpublished) Banditas are polishing our Golden Heart entries. We hope – we pray – that the stars will align and we will once again be Golden Heart finalists. That some wonderful editor who shares our vision and adores our prose will read us, love us, publish us. Then we will all be winners, even you! Because you will get to read our books. *g*
Meanwhile, what are your favorite contests? Do you watch to see who wins or who loses? Do you ever, in a moment of mean-spirited weakness, hope someone trips on the Miss America runway or drops his partner on Dancing With The Stars? Did you ever vote for Sanjaya just to piss off a friend or coworker? Please share!
Meanwhile, I have to finish polishing my new manuscript for the Golden Heart…