This was announced yesterday – I’m a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Ruby Awards in the Romantic Elements category.
The Ruby awards are for the Romance Book of The Year and in case you’re not up on the different categories that RWA uses, “romantic elements” means that my story contains some romance but that the romance isn’t the story – if that makes sense. It’s a story about love and it’s a love story, but it’s not just about love. Clearer? Let’s just say that I’m happy dancing all around the house with @adventurespaniel looking on with concern.
Anyways, this is a big deal because the Ruby awards are a big deal in the romance writing world. It’s also a huge deal to me because as an Indie author external validation is pretty thin on the ground. I don’t have a publisher telling me that my work is good, I have to write the absolute best story that I can at that point in time – and I’m ridiculously fortunate in that I have a fabulous editor who helps me with this – and trust both myself and the process.
As I’ve struggled to find the time to market this book (well, any of my books really) and book sales have been slow, trusting that my work is worthy has been particularly tough this year. There have been too many times when the temptation to let go of the dream has been strong. That’s why when the email came through to tell me I was a finalist my heart almost stopped. It truly means that much to me and I’ve been absolutely bursting to tell you all.
The final placings will be announced at the RWA Conference Gala Dinner in Melbourne in August. While I’m not going to the conference I am now going to the dinner and my Kiwi bestie is coming with me – which is pretty appropriate given she gets a massive call-out in the acknowledgements for this novel.
I literally and honestly have nothing to wear – on either my body or my feet and, given I rarely have occasion to attend special events, am loathe to buy anything new for a single night. Nor can I fit into the one special-ish occasion dress that I bought about 3 years ago for the last special-ish occasion I went to – and because it rained I wore boots to that.
Anyways, at the moment I’m too excited to worry about a crisis of the sartorial kind. Plus, I now have a previously unplanned weekend with my bestie to look forward to in Melbourne. Regardless of the end result, that’s already a win-win in my book!
Okay, that’s my happy, now it’s time to share yours with the Lovin’ Life Linky.