HELL WEEK won the 2009 RITA® award for best YA book.
Yes, that’s right. Award winning author in the house.
If you saw me on Saturday night, I was sort of a space case, because of course I was ecstatic, but it’s also this surreal and kind of humbling experience, because the other books in my category were really awesome, too. That’s not false modesty--I would not have been surprised if the award had gone to either of them. (And in fact, Tera Lynn Childs did win the Rita for Best First Book!)
And of course, despite the fact that I DID jot down my notes on what I wanted to say, I completely messed it up when I got on stage. Some of that was because I was confronted with my own giant head on the big screen, and you have a lot to think about at that moment. Including:
1) Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m standing here.
2) Is that what my hair looks like? Holy crap my teeth are HUGE!
3) Don’t say anything stupid.
4) Don’t hyperventilate and pass out.
5) Don’t forget anybody.
6) Don’t trip and fall.
7) Don’t drop the statue.
Another cool thing? The “walk down” music was the theme from Buffy! I didn’t hear it on the way down (I didn’t hear ANYTHING after “Hell…” and then it was just this ocean surf roar and my voice in my head going: “Don’t trip don’t trip don’t trip”) but on the way back… that was fun. Thanks programming people!
Anyway. I’m so grateful, and so honored. I know some people are head scratching, thinking “But Hell Week isn’t really a romance.” No, but it has what the RWA describes as “Romantic elements.” That is, a strong romantic subplot. Though, as a reader wrote to me recently, “There should be more kissing scenes.” Thankfully, the judges felt what was there was sufficient.
(Though personally, I agree--you can never go wrong with more kissing scenes. Look forward to The Splendor Falls for that. Lots of kissing in TSF. ;-) )
So, now Rita is home, and in her place of honor atop my desk:
Of course, this makes it look like she's staring at me, which is good and bad. Bad: It's a little creepy. Good: I feel she's admonishing me if I surf the internet when I should be working.
Thanks to everyone for their support and congratulations!