I collected my jacket, my purse, my iPhone, and was just about to leave for my dental appointment. In fact, I had joked extensively with the Contest Divas the day before about the fact that I didn’t want to think about the RWA Golden Heart. And I wasn’t going to get any call.
My Eeyore-ish kind of mood came from a weekend of contest disappointments. The worst one of which was the lowest score I have ever received in a contest from a judge who hated my dark hero as well as my writing. She said I overwrote every sentence. Boing!
Besides, I wasn’t going to final in this impossibly huge national contest, anyway.
In the days proceeding call day, I wrote several posts about sitting in the dentist’s chair and having crown work done. I remember references to novacaine and laughing gas and being too busy to think about the GH.
Then, at approximately 8:45 in morning, I got the call.
Your brain goes kind of fuzzy during the call. But not so muddled that you miss the awesomeness of the moment. And the second you stop screaming the RWA PR machine kicks in. Vaguely, you hear dates about getting a photo taken and sent in for press releases. Then there is this large packet of materials you will be required to read fill out and send back. A special e-chat loop is set up for finalists to ask questions and get to know one another before the conference. And, as a Golden Heart finalist I will get priority for appointments with agents and editors. And, and, and…
When the call ended, it took me about an hour to write a simple text because my hands were–you guessed it, shaking. The best thing about the call for me was that I wasn’t ready for it. It truly came as a huge, wonderful gift and it took most of the day to sink in.
And remember, I still had to go to the dentist. It’s an odd feeling sitting in the waiting room thinking about the $960.00 I was about to spend on a crown. Money I could use to go to the RWA Nationals in Nashville; where I would be able to network with industry professionals, published authors and lots of other writers. Then an idea struck. To hell with the crown. I’ll keep the temporary in for a few more months and get the permanent crown done in August, after I get back from the nationals. Brilliant! Immediately I had half the expenses for the trip already saved.
Two weeks ago, I began a series of blogs on the pros and cons of the romance contest circuit. Was it worth the time and angst? Even if you did final, what were the odds of signing with an agent or getting offered a contract from a major publisher? And I still don’t have the answers to those questions, but the for the next few months anyway, I think my chances have gotten a whole lot better. I will keep you posted. This is going to be an amazing ride, and I’m ready!
G. Jillian Stone
There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.
Jillian is currently finishing the second book in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com