Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Embracing Lady Luck

I can't believe it. And I'm not just saying that to appear humble. I truly did not expect the call I received this morning from RWA Board member Priscilla Oliveras Kissinger telling me I was a 2017 Golden Heart® finalist. Unlike previous years when I entered, I really didn't hold much hope on this one because it had always scored so abysmally in the Golden Heart®. However, I also understand how subjective this business is. I figured I had nothing to lose to try it one more time. After all, it was my third try on my other Golden Heart® manuscript. Brace yourself, I'm going to get a little sappy here.

The bottom line: it's about more than writing skill and a good story. It's also about being lucky and having your manuscript land in the hands of judges who enjoy your voice and your story. Which is why I'm embracing Lady Luck today, and I am beyond thrilled. There are many phenomenal writers out there who also entered this year and didn't get that call today. I'm here to tell you it doesn't mean what you've written isn't worthy of making the finals. It means this is a subjective business and luck plays a role, whether in contests, or finding the right agent to represent you, or in finally finding that perfect editor who adores your story and voice. Of course, you have to do the work to hone your craft and develop a great premise that hooks the reader; but beyond that, it's out of your hands. It's all about timing and a healthy dose of luck. So congratulations to all the lucky finalists today! This is going to be a fun ride.

To those who entered and didn't get that call--NEVER give up! I have to remind myself daily, so here's a little motivational penguin to help.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


So there's nothing quite like stepping out of the shower and discovering you have a voice mail from one of your favorite authors, and an email to boot. Last Friday, I was fortunate to receive the news that I was a 2016 Golden Heart® Nominee from none other than Tessa Dare. Unlike last year when I didn't realize it was "The Call" day and thought it was simply Walgreens calling, I didn't scream in her ear. You are welcome Tessa!

I waited to do that until after I disconnected.


It was even announced in USA Today! Now I need to hustle and get back to painting so I can make that trip to San Diego! I can't wait to meet all my 2016 Golden Heart Sisters.

Friday, July 31, 2015

So THIS Happened!

New York now has a piece of my heart. What a memory, my very first RWA Nationals and a Golden Heart Finalist on top of it. My first day walking into the hotel, I happened to ride up the escalators with none other than the gracious and lovely Eloisa James who promptly invited me to join her for a cup of coffee. What a way to start my first conference!

From that second on, it was a whirlwind of activity that never let up. Attending workshops, trying to absorb all the incredible opportunities, meeting writers I'd admired for many years, and meeting my fellow nominees--it was a blur that went by too fast. On Friday, the Golden Heart and RITA nominees were honored at a reception where I was presented my certificate for making the finals. Thank goodness for the photo, because it all seems like a dream now.

In so many ways, it was almost too much to absorb. It seems cliche to say that being nominated is enough, but it truly is for me. I'm now a part of a group of writers who've become friends in this shared experience, the 2015 Golden Heart "Dragonflies." Our sisterhood of 46 chat daily, and they are a source of support and camaradarie that is priceless. I so wish we had a photo of the entire group together, but I do have this one taken after the awards presentations. What an amazing night it was.

It doesn't require a win to thank people, and I have many people to thank. First on the list is the RWA and all the local chapter members who volunteer their time to sponsor contests, judge and provide writers with amazing feedback. The resources and opportunities the organization provides its members is unsurpassed. My local chapter, Music City Romance Writers tops that list. I have numerous critique partners who've helped me along the way, none more than Charissa Weaks, my plot and structure guru who convinced me I needed to toss my manuscript and start over. I have no doubt I wouldn't have the Golden Heart nomination without her pushing me in the right direction.

And last but not least, my amazing fellow 2014 Pitch Warriors who came to New York for a mini-reunion during RWA. For me, the absolute best part of this trip was spending time with these friends and valued critique partners I'd yet to meet until New York. And best yet, having them with me for the Awards ceremony. Hopefully, this first reunion will be the first of many to come.