On Tuesday, I’ll be traveling to Orlando, Florida to the Romance Writers of America’s national conference. There, industry professionals from all over the globe gather for an intense business conference that is also loads of fun. The culmination of the week of learning, working and networking, comes at the RITA Award ceremony on Saturday night. It’s a fancy, formal affair with lots of glitter, glitz and class. If you’ve never seen your face on a giant Jumbotron-type screen, let me tell you, it’s—well, a little disconcerting! This year, I’m a finalist in the contemporary romance category so Jumbotron, here I come again!
Most people outside the industry may not be aware of what a huge deal the RITA is-or even what it is-so I thought I’d post about it.
The RITA Award, named for one of the founders of RWA, is the “Academy Award” of Romance Writing. It recognizes outstanding romance fiction published within the past year. The awards are broken down into twelve categories that represent the various types of romance novels on the market-contemporary, historical, inspirational, paranormal, single title-to name a few. Just as Oscar winners are judged by people in the movie industry, our books are judged and scored by RWA members. Finalists from over 1,000 entries are announced in March and the books are scored again by a different set of judges. The winners are announced during the glamorous award ceremony at RWA’s national conference in July. The result is an award that’s hard to win and therefore carries a certain clout within the industry.
I won in the inspirational category in 2008 and this year, I’m a finalist for a contemporary series book, THE SNOW-KISSED BRIDE. I consider myself a dark horse, the only traditional in a huge category with books that vary in content from spicy to sweet and from Nascar to a desert sheik. The other authors are amazing writers, so I’m thrilled and honored to be in their midst. For a complete list with book covers and photos, click here.
Wish me luck!