I was hoping to write this post a bit sooner than a week after the fact, but with traveling, the day job and other book-related events, I just haven’t had time. (What a wonderful problem to have!)
For those who haven’t heard on social media, my books took home four awards at the Chanticleer Author’s Conference in Bellingham, Washington, last weekend. I knew going in that Daughter of Destiny and Madame Presidentess were both going to get first in category awards, for romance/women’s fiction and historical fiction, respectively.
I had no idea that Daughter of Destiny was going to continue on to take home overall category Grand Prize in the Chatelaine (romance/women’s fiction) Awards. They asked me to speak (which I wasn’t expecting) and I told a short version of how I got here (two years to find an agent, two years with an agent, getting close to traditional publications so many times, then leaving my agent, unsuccessfully trying to get another and finally going indie) with the theme of never giving up, which I almost did many times.
Imagine my shock when it was proclaimed Book of the Year! I will never watch awards shows the same way again. Those reactions you see? They are genuine. I leaned forward, covered my face with my hands and uttered some sort of guttural cry. I think at a time like that, it’s all you can can do. When they asked me to speak again, I felt like the Oscar winner who didn’t prepare an acceptance speech. People told me the next day I was very eloquent, though I have little memory of what I said. I know I thanked my mom, who is always my first reader, and who was there in the room with me. I talked about other things, but I can’t recall them.
Later, when i was trying to hold up all four ribbons at once, i felt like the multi-Grammy winner who can barely hold all her awards. It is so overwhelming and humbling all at once. On top of that, you are in a state of shock.
I can’t even put into words what that night meant to me. I am so thankful to everyone who listened to me complain and be scared and frustrated and reassured me that I would figure it out. All of you who have been with me on this journey (whether from the beginning or just recently) are the reasons why I can now say I have written the Book of the Year.
I still can’t believe it a week later. All I can say is believe with everything in you, put in the hard work and it will happen. Manifestation, or as some of us know it, the Red Feather process, is a real thing and it does work, but you have to put in the work as well.
Thanks to everyone who has read my books or supported me in any way, shape or form.