A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Golden Heart Suspense

Golden Heart and RITA announcements went out this week. Once upon a time, I was a Golden Heart finalist in the Romantic Suspense category. It was a long time ago. Back when you used to get candle wax on your books. Back when you used to hitch your horse up in front of of the general store. Back when you used to wash your clothes on the rocks by the river. Back when Route 66 was a dirt path. 

Anyway...I embarked on my very first trip to the ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA conference. There was definitely an element of suspense to the whole process. I had no idea what to expect and quite honestly, I was nervous as all heck. But I packed up my bags, along with my conviction, and I boarded that plane. As the cab pulled up in front of the hotel, I walked through the sliding front doors into the lobby and witnessed a throng of nearly 300,000 women (or so it appeared to me at the time). Hyperventilating, I spun around to leave, but the cab had already pulled away.

I had no choice but to 'man up' as they say. I took a deep breath and walked directly into that throng (with my head ducked down). But try as I might to stay invisible, the Golden Heart ribbon affixed to my shirt was like a beacon. People I didn’t know would stop and say, “Ohhh, you’re a finalist. Congratulations! What category?” After my fifth congratulatory comment I decided the RWA Conference was a really cool place to be. :)

The day before the award ceremony they made us practice walking up the steps and onto the stage. They even made us go up to the microphone and speak into an empty arena to get used to the sound of our voice over the speaker system. The rule they recited over and over was to NOT drink any alcohol before the ceremony so that you didn’t embarrass yourself by tripping or saying something silly.

The night of the ceremony came, and no, I didn’t win my category, but it’s an honor just to be nominated, right? :) I had to chuckle that night, though. A very prominent NY Times best-selling author won a RITA. She walked up to the podium and held up her award and very loudly announced, “And guess what…I’ve been drinking!”

Congratulations to all the RITA and Golden Heart finalists.

Maureen A. Miller
Golden Heart Finalist 02


Rita said...

Okay you have to tell who said that at least give initials.

Maureen A. Miller said...

Heh-heh. T.G.

There was another classic line that night from Lisa Kleypas when she won her RITA. She said, "It's nice to win a trophy and not have to wear a bathing suit." LOL, she was in the Miss America pageant once.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Sounds daunting, but a lot of fun, too! Thanks for sharing the memory and I raise a toast (glass of water, I'm afraid) to all the finalists. Good luck!

Cathy Perkins said...

Up until that last flourish, you could've been describing my Golden Heart experience.

Congrats to all the finalists, but a special shout out to the women from my year who did it again! Golden Heart - Rachel & Pris; Rita - Courtney.

Shelley Munro said...

How cool. I bet that RITA winner took great pleasure in saying that :)

Wynter Daniels said...

Must be very exciting. You should be prod to have been a finalist. It's quite an achievement!

Wendy Soliman said...

Wow, how brave. That was my one concern when I entered the Ritas this year. If, by some miracle I finalled, how would I find the courage to get up out there and perform?

Don't have to worry about that now!

Robena Grant said...

This is too funny. Thanks for sharing. I'm a GH finalist for RS this year. And I feel so ancient compared with the young people chatting on the loops. Oh well, I guess I'm the perfect example of you don't have to be young to be a writer. : )

Shirley Wells said...

I would have been drinking too. I don't think I would have been able to speak for nerves. :)

It's an amazing honour to be a finalist. So proud of you, girl!

Maureen A. Miller said...

Robena, congratulations to you! Have a blast...but don't drink! hahahah...or don't tell that you did. :)

Thanks, everyone!

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