Hello out there in blog land! I had to share a really memorable weekend in my writing career, a weekend I'll never forget. It was magical, it was exciting ... well, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Back in December or January, I got word that my book Preacher Man, published last year by Wild Rose Press was a finalist in the EPIC contest! EPIC honors e-books of all different categories and genres, and my book was a finalist in the "Spiritual and Metaphysical Romance Fiction" category. HUH? That's a mouthful. But regardless, I was thrilled.
They invited me to come to the awards ceremony in New Orleans to accept the award in person. That's of course, IF I won. There was always the chance that I wouldn't win. But still ... it was a weekend in New Orleans, it was far away from the cold and snow of central Illinois, and it was the chance to chat and have fun with other writers. It was a no-brainer! I made plans to go.
For months, I told everyone I knew, and even some people I didn't know that I was headed to New Orleans in March because my book was up for an award. It was so ... cosmopolitan! I felt sort of like Carrie Bradshaw.
When I arrived in NO, I wasted no time finding authentic cajun food to eat, touring the French Quarter, browsing through antique shops and even taking a ghost tour of famous NO hauntings. I met other writers and I was having a ball! Fast forward to Saturday night when I'm all dressed up in my sparkly dress and heels, listening to the presenter announce the finalists for my category. Everything I'd been anticipating for the last three months had come down to this one moment. Would they call my name? Or someone else's name?
"And the winner is ..."
Time seemed to go into a wierd slow motion while I waited for her to open the envelope. My mind raced with ... I might win, but I might not. Even if I don't, it's still great to be a finalist. I've had a great weekend, and I've met some great people, and I've enjoyed my visit to New Orleans ... but OH, I'd love to win!
"... Laurie Larsen!"
WOW! The first thing I heard was my dad sitting beside me make some sort of sound like, "Ah ha!" Then I heard this rousing chorus of applause and cheers and I just sat there for a moment, soaking it in. The love and support in that room were palpable. I got up, made my way around several tables and up on the stage, all without stumbling. (Whew). And I accepted the beautiful EPIC award. It was wonderful.
When I returned home and shared the news, my brother said something that really stuck with me, "Forevermore, you'll be known as an award-winning author." And you know what? He's right.