This past Sunday my husband and I were out working in our garden, a common practice since it's summer in Alaska. I'd just finished staining my new raised beds when my phone rang. Normally I never answer if it's a number I don't recognize, but that instinct was dead like the mosquitoes on my arm. I'm so glad I picked up.
Turns out I was receiving a call to let me know that Honour Bound is a finalist in the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Romance Writers annual Prism contest. The Prism contest is for published books and if you take a chance to look at the lists of past winners, it's clear that there is serious talent in every year's list of entries. To be have been chosen among this group is an incredible blessing and I am so grateful.
So, this July when I go to San Diego for the RWA conference, I'll also be attending the FF&P's awards ceremony The Gathering and learning how Honour Bound did in the contest. More importantly, I'll be meeting other authors and readers in the genre and learning from them and their success stories.
Part of the reason for this post is to squee about the news, but the other reason is that I feel it's important to mention that Honour Bound was a risky book. Kate Cuthbert, my dream of an editor at Escape Publishing, is the one who suggested I expand the universe from Lace & Lead. Neither of us expected the expansion to result in this sprawling story that's turned into a new series.
I know that at its core Honour Bound is a romance; all my stories are. When I think of conflict, of what people are willing to die or live for, love and hope are often at the top of that list. But Honour Bound also allowed me to explore my love of dystopian societies, history, religious ethics, and a darkness I'm beginning to understand is a strangely inherent shadow side of my normally optimistic self. This is the series I've always been dying to read, so (as per Toni Morrison's excellent advice) it was time to get off my butt and write it.
Sunday's phone call just confirmed to me that there are others out there who are equally willing to take those risks and are searching for the same story as me. It makes the world a smaller, more beautiful place when that happens. Readers, thank you for your support and love of reading and fearlessness. You made this author's summer.