So I won an award. Well, my book, Undercover Heat, won an award. But I had a little something to do with it, so I’m gonna take at least a bit of credit.
Over the course of a long weekend in early October, I attended the InD’Scribe Conference in Burbank, California, which culminated with the awards ceremony and my one, glowing moment in the spotlight.
I’m not gonna lie; it was pretty cool.
I also learned a few things, and I figured I’d share them here, in case you find yourself in a similar situation, and in need of a bit of advice. So here we go…
- Shoes are important. Even if you don’t splurge on a ball gown (I didn’t), it’s entirely okay so long as you have a killer pair of red heels. And be sure to call them out on stage. Bonus points if someone special (like your husband) bought them for you.
- Wine is also important. And expensive, if you buy it at a hotel bar. I recommend finding the nearest liquor store and stowing a few (not mini) bottles in your hotel room. And then hide the wine glasses you stole from the hotel bar in the mini fridge, so the housekeeper doesn’t snag them.
- Sleep is important, especially when you’ve travelled through multiple time zones to get to the event. Take one evening off – just not the one of the awards ceremony.
- Impromptu speeches are sometimes the best speeches.
This was my first awards ceremony, but not my first conference. I went anticipating meeting new friends, learning new stuff, and generally expecting to have a good time. The awards ceremony wasn’t even on my radar until I was dressing in my little black dress and super sexy red heels. Even then, I felt like I was going to cheer on my friends as they won their awards.
When they announced my name, I was so shocked, everyone laughed at me. (That’s okay, I like it when people laugh.) When I stood in front of the microphone on that stage with three other gorgeous ladies wearing sparkly dresses and great shoes, blinded by a spotlight and realizing I now had to speak, it went something like this…
“Ohmigod, I can’t believe I’m up here! Is my lipstick okay?”
And then I went on to thank my editor, who had a huge hand in justifying the award for this book. The hero, Quinn, from Undercover Heat was a broken man at the beginning of the book, and after the first round of edits, my editor informed me that he hadn’t grown quite enough to satisfy her need for a happily ever after with two characters who have gone through hell and back to get to each other. It was one of the hardest edits I’ve gone through, which says something because my editor puts me through the wringer every damn time I give her another book.
After a bit of blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of wine, Quinn and Kyra morphed into what they are today–the hero and heroine from an award-winning book–and I give my editor ridiculous amounts of credit.
After profusely expressing that particular gratitude, I went on to thank… everyone. True confession: This event is put on by InD’Tale Magazine, but the conference is called the InD’Scribe. When I turned around to thank TJ, the founder of InD’Tale, I wasn’t sure whether to say “InD’Tale” or “InD’Scribe,” and I was standing in front of an audience with a spotlight in my face… So I panicked and said, “Thank you everyone,” and swept my arm to encompass the entire room. Crisis averted.
And then I ended my off-the-cuff speech with, “Lastly, I’d like to thank my husband for picking out these fabulous red heels.”
That’s right, the hubs got a little kudos, because yeah, he’s got good taste in shoes. A few years ago, we were on our way to who knows where, when I said, “Hey, let’s stop and look for shoes. I need a pair of sensible navy pumps.”
My husband heard, “shoe store.” And while I was off in the corner searching out the boring but necessary shoes, he headed off to the “fun” section. A few moments later, he walked up to me and said, “You should get these.”
I said, “But those aren’t navy. Or sensible.”
“Yeah, but they’re sexy.”
Hard to argue with that logic. So we bought the heels. And if I do say so myself, they go rather nicely with the Rone Award for my contemporary romance, Undercover Heat.
I have no doubt your acceptance speech was a great entertainment for the audience. Congratulations, again.