Shannon here: Katy Lee shares her week as a Finalist at the Romance Writers of America Conference. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy of her Romantic Suspense, Blindsided, which won the 2017 Selah Award. Deadline Aug 4th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Katy:
A Romance Writer’s Week as a Rita Finalist by Katy Lee
Every year, the Romance Writers of America hold a conference for writers of all experiences and levels in their journey to publication. RWA also holds their red-carpet awards night for the Rita award, the highest distinction in the genre of romance. It is like the Academy Awards for romance novels.
This year, I was honored to be nominated for my book One Simple Wish. When I received the call to notify me, I was surprised, because it is an Amish Romance, and I typically write Romantic Suspense. Two years ago, a publisher called me to ask if I would write an Amish story for them. Even though, my knowledge about the Amish and Amish fiction was limited, I agreed to take the project on. Four days after I signed the contract, my appendix burst. I almost canceled the agreement, but instead chose to spend my recuperation time researching and writing. And by the time I finished the story, I had created a book that celebrated life. I believe that message came through to the judges, and One Simple Wish resonated with them.
Having the experience at RWA as a Rita Finalist is also a celebration that extends beyond the awards night. From the moment you arrive, attendees are so excited to read your badge with its Rita ribbon and congratulate you. There are special functions just for finalists to attend, like the reception to receive your Rita certificate and Meet-and-Greets with bloggers and librarians and booksellers. There’s also the Literacy Book Signing where your table has a blue flag to invite readers over to find your award-winning books. And I say award-winning, because even if you don’t receive the golden statue, just being nominated is an accolade.
As for the Rita night, many nominees don a gown and dress to the nines. The excitement is one of elation and nerves, but always full of joy and smiles. Many authors have their editors and agents with them, and some have their spouses there to hold their hand. But no matter the outcome, the evening is a celebration for all. Even topping off with a night of dancing.
After such a harrowing experience with my surgery, I never dreamed it would lead to such a magical week of recognition. I truly am honored and glad the story touched the hearts of the judges. May its message of a celebration of life continue to reach many others and resonate with them.
Thank you for having me at the Inkslinger. I also want to let you know I will be attending the Barbara Vey Readers’ Appreciation Cruise in January 2019. I would love to have some Inspirational readers set sail with me. You can find all the details at: https://www.mcdonaldtravel.com/rw/register/34325
About Katy: Two-time RITA nominee Katy Lee is the author of 15 published novels. Her suspenseful romances thrill and inspire the reader—from the edge of their seat. A native New Englander, Katy loves to knit warm wooly things. She enjoys traveling the side-roads and exploring the locals’ hideaways. A homeschooling mom of three competitive swimmers, Katy often writes from the stands while cheering them on. Catch up with Katy at KatyLeeBooks.com where links to Facebook and Twitter can be found.
About the book – Blindsided:
When race-car track owner Veronica Spencer discovers stolen cars in a garage on her track, she knows she’s been framed. But before Roni can do anything about it, the criminals kidnap her. Undercover FBI agent Ethan Gunn shouldn’t break his cover to protect Roni, but he won’t watch her die, either. Despite his FBI information that says she’s involved in the crime ring, Ethan knows she’s innocent. So he risks it all to help her break free. But now, with killers and the FBI on their trail, Ethan must find a way to keep her safe…and clear her name.
ROADS TO DANGER: Family secrets resurface
Question for Readers: Have you ever had a time in your life that seemed magical? Share your experience.
Come back July 27th for Mesu Andrews!