I JUST-- like today-- saw a quote that said, "Say nothing if you win. Say less if you lose."
Mostly, I agree with this-- but when the awards in question are judged by a panel of hard working volunteers who actually READ your shit, and LIKED it, and liked it enough to DO something about it...
Well, you are sort of honor bound to give a humble thanks.
Elisa Rolle held her sixth annual Rainbow Awards this Saturday--and I was surprised on a lot of levels. (For one? I didn't realize they were going to be on the 1st--for some reason I thought they were on the 8th! For another, I didn't realize that Aleks had entered Country Mouse under Bi/Trans, and that was the first award announced. We took second. Surprise!)
I think the biggest thing that surprised me was that here, on this forum, people thought Sidecar was as special as I did, and it placed first in the William Neale award for Gay Romance, and second in the overall category for gay themed book of any kind--novel, non-fiction, romance, everything. I was incredibly honored, because I was in some very amazing company. Seeing my name up there with the other writers who had poured honest blood, sweat, tears and all around life experience into their books--it was a real privilege.
Chase in Shadow placed 6th for an Honorable Mention in both those categories, and I was SO thrilled. You all know that one ripped my heart out to write, and the fact that someone out there--several someones, saw that the sort of pain it embodied was necessary and cathartic and real? That meant so much to me.
Gambling Men tied for 4th for an Honorable Mention in Gay Erotic Romance--and I'm pretty proud of that. Gambling Men was, for me, a very pure sort of romance. Two guys, working shit out. Part of that shit was the physical shit--and hence the "erotic" romance. There was a romantic arc to their sex, a build, a communication, that was expressed not just in the sex itself, but also in the poker references. These guys didn't speak hearts and flowers, they spoke sex and poker, and that felt really authentic as I wrote it, and I'm so grateful it felt the same way to the judges.
Country Mouse? It took second in Bisexual/Transgendered romance, and sixth in overall Bisexual/Transgendered books, and that meant people loved it--and since it was such a blast to write? And Aleks and I are having so much fun with the second? It's like... it's like getting an award for eating cake! And jeez, shouldn't we all get an award for eating cake! Seriously--seeing this in the running made me very proud, and I wish Aleks and I even lived on the same continent so we would jump up and down and hug:-)
Clear Water took "One Perfect Score"-- which meant that it wasn't in the top ten, but that somebody adored it. I know a lot of you have told me you adored it, so it means a lot to me that it got some love from the jury. (The cut off date for these awards is the previous August--so that's how Clear Water qualified, for those of you wondering, "Wait? Wasn't that out last year?")
And what can I say about Talker? I hadn't entered any of the novellas because there is a word limit, and the Talker books didn't make it. But since they were released in an anthology, I decided to take a chance. Talker tied for 5th and an Honorable Mention, and I think that is a fitting note to stories that helped mark my beginning in this business, and which made me very, very proud.
Now, for those of you wondering, "Wow! That's tremendous! What's next? Walking on the moon?"
What's next is that I actually participate next year and be a juror. I know I make a lot out of my time crunch and my deadline crunch--and I feel it, keenly, every day. But I didn't expect this sort of bounty of riches at my feet--and a lot of man hours went into judging them, and I need to give back to this community that's given me so much. I'm looking forward to it--and it doesn't mean that I won't be entering my own stories--but I am so excited about volunteering next year and reading other people's!!!
So thank you, everyone who participated in the judging, and thank you Elisa--I'm really honored. And yes--normally, I'd be tempted to take all this good news and huddle under my blankets and giggle into my pillow like a mental patient, these awards are a lot of hard work, and all I have to give you for it is a very humble, very grateful, "Thank you. Thank you so much."