Monday, January 4, 2016

Judging Suspense

I am submitting my first two books to the RITA Awards, which means that I also get to be a judge for the competition. While both of my books, HEARTSICK and RED BLOODED, have mystery elements, I actually chose to submit them in other categories that I thought were better fits (Paranormal and Mid-Length Contemporary Romance), which means that I can still judge Romantic Suspense!

Now, I know that doesn’t necessarily mean my judging packet will contain mystery/suspense books, but my fingers are crossed and I’m already pondering the best mindset to be in when reading these. For example, a suspense that surprises me is always welcome, as long as those surprises make sense. But, sometimes, especially with a cozy mystery, it’s fun to guess early on who the murderer is and get that satisfying feeling when you’re right (no surprises!). 

But, then again, maybe I should be focusing more about the overall writing quality, the romances, or other elements. Having never judged before, there’s a good chance this will all be well explained to me in the judging packet. However, if you have judged before and you have any thoughts on the process, I (and I’m sure other newbies) would love to hear them!

(Friendly reminder: RWA asks that you not talk about any specific book you may have judged, so please keep that in mind. But, again, general/overall advice and thoughts would be great to hear!)


Rita said...

O. Caitlin best of luck with your entries. Judging is very subjective. Books that I think of a brilliant others don't care for. I haven't entered for a while as my books are said not to meet the romance criteria. This will be three years I haven't judged. Most important to me was always if the story drew me in. Did I care about the characters. My advice is follow the judging rules and do your best.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Caitlin, good luck with your entries! It's thrilling to be able to enter the RITA. A milestone. :)

I agree with Rita that judging can be so subjective. There aren't many guidelines that I remember from previous years, other than whether it meets the criteria of a romance and whether you'd put it on your "keeper" shelf.

And I'm excited about judging, too! (Though I won't be eligible to judge RS, I usually find some interesting reads.)

Caitlin Sinead said...

Thanks, and yeah, I'm excited about it! I'm sure there will be some great reads in the packet. :)