Happy Ever After

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.

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Author: Jo

I write, I bake, I chase sunrises.

18 thoughts

  1. I was so excited when I saw the list pop up on my Facebook feed. I’m so pleased for you and so proud. I loved this book and think it deserves to be there. And you’re right, these are THE awards so it’s even more impressive.

    Fingers crossed it garners your book and your writing more attention. And don’t worry about what to wear as it’ll all be a blur anyway!

    1. I so wanted to tell you as soon as I found out – it’s been a tough secret to keep. Thank you so much for your support xxx

  2. I’m SO pleased for you Jo – nothing beats outside affirmation (it’s lovely when our friends compliment us, but to hear it from an unbiased source of such high calibre is just fantastic!) Re: the dress, I’d suggest asking around your friends – most of us have a dress or two hanging in the wardrobe longing to be worn again and happy to be lent to a worthy cause! I’d send you my MOB dress (it’s lovely) but I don’t think it’d fit unfortunately (I’m not even sure it fits me atm but I can’t bear to let it go.) Congrats again – well deserved xxx

    1. Thanks, I’m so excited. I’m thinking I might be able to wear one of the Thai silk skirts I had made in Vietnam & a top, but shoes will still be the issue…we’ll have to think about it I suppose.

  3. Congratulations to you!! This is a great thing to have achieved. I so hear you about external validation. When it comes from a reputable/professional source, so much the better. And I’d really like to see your happy dance!

  4. I’m so thrilled for you Jo! I’m happy dancing for you! You bloody deserve this and don’t you dare give up on the dream. I finished your first book whilst over at Straddie and loved it! Just started your second. I am a stickler for reading things in order. You are very talented. You are meant to be a writer/author and you’re bloody good at it. Enjoy this wonderful acknowledgement. Buy yourself a new outfit that you feel good in (new shoes too!) – no guilt need be felt at all!! You will wear it again. Something will come up. Heart felt congratulations to you! 🙂 xo #TeamLovinLife

  5. Congratulations Jo! Thank you for clarifying “romance elements”. I was reading through the comments from other writers and I agree on how external validation from an unbiased source is a big deal. I am looking for my Summer/Fall camping reading and I will locate your first book. I look forward to hearing about your get away weekend, too:)

  6. This is such exciting news for you Jo and as I’ve read this book, I agree it’s a fab story and worthy of winning. Good luck, you deserve the accolades.

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