I’ve recently returned from the 2011 RWA National Conference in New York City. And while I didn’t win the Golden Heart necklace, I did win the Daphne Du Maurier award for best single title romantic suspense and received loads of requests. So I left happy. Besides, my good friend Diana Van Dyke won the Golden Heart for her romantic suspense manuscript Spy in the Mirror and it was well deserved. I’m very proud of her!
But once I got home, my husband asked, “Did you write a speech?”
I have to admit that last year I did not write a speech, but it made awards night very stressful to point where I actually hoped they wouldn’t call my name. So this year I did write one. The last thing I wanted, if my name was called, was to forget any of the people in my life who helped me get this far in my writing career.
Then my husband asked, “Am I mentioned in the speech?”
I, being the smart wife, said, “Of course!” Then I thought about it–maybe I should post the unused speech. After all, just because I didn’t win doesn’t mean that I don’t owe a million thanks to many people. Just because I didn’t win doesn’t make their efforts worth any less. So, at the risk of seeming presumptuous, I posted my speech below. And you never know–maybe I’ll get a chance to give it next year.
“First, I’d like to thank RWA and the Golden Heart judges for this amazing honor, as well as my critique partners Christine Glover, Karen Johnston, Juliette Sobanet, Mary Lenaburg, and Angelina Lopez for their brutal honesty and constant support.
This manuscript wouldn’t be here without the guidance of many gracious and talented teachers including Margie Lawson, Bob Mayer, Mary Buckham, Mary O’Gara, Dianna Love, Robin Perini and Laura Baker. And a special thanks to Roxanne St. Claire who last year taught me to sacrifice without pity during the revision process. My manuscripts, and I, are grateful.
And speaking of sisters, I have four I’d like to thank–in no particular order! Kieran, Colleen, Kristin, and Devon. I love you all!
Most important on my list is my husband for his 28 years of constant love and support who, along with my father, taught me that men who protect and sacrifice for their families are the real heroes. And my mother who is here with me tonight and loves me unconditionally, as well as my twins who taught me not only how to love unconditionally but that a full night’s sleep is for wimps.
Finally, three women to whom I want to give a special thanks. Susan Wiggs who gave me a scholarship to my first RWA conference and started me on this journey.
And Sherrilyn Kenyon who yesterday reminded me that while courage lives in grand gestures, and can sometimes be found in the simple enduring of every day life, it is more often experienced in that thin, quiet space between hitting delete and send. Thank you.”