As most of you probably know, Romance Writers of America announced the finalists for the 2013 RITA awards, and Darius: Lord of Pleasures was among those selected in the historical category. (If you’d like to see all of the finalists, they’re here.) The historical category finalist list reads like a cross between my keeper shelf and my TBR pile, so I am very pleased to be in this company.
The winners are announced at RWA’s National Conference in July, and it’s an exciting, tense, fun evening for the finalists. The author, accompanied by the book’s editor, goes up to the microphone in a room full of 2000+ peers and industry professionals. A few minutes are allotted for the author’s comments, and a very pretty metal statuette is presented to each winner. Much applause, a few tears, a few drinks and many congratulations.
But wait a minute. The editor is there, but where is the publisher, the person who ultimately made the decision acquire that book rather any one of thousands of others? Where’s the copy editor, who caught more typos and wordos than Carter has liver pills, and where’s the proofreader who caught her fair share as well? Where’s the production editor, who kept the manuscript moving through an entire chocolate factory of transformations, from story to shelved book?
And let’s not forget about the Art Department, who came up with an eye-catching cover; book making, who somehow changed bytes into books; the sales folks who talked that book into retail outlets; the publicist, who led the cheers for the book as if her name were on the cover; the foreign sales agent who sold the book in Japan among other places; the formatters who have to tweak the file so it loads smoothly onto at least a half dozen different retail ebook platforms…. the booksellers, the bloggers and reviewers, the admin staff holding the universe together, the web geniuses who present the book so beautifully on the website…
Darius might be my story, but it’s not my book. It’s our book–all of us who put it together, read it, talked about it, boosted it on its way to this recognition. So, thanks to you, thanks to my book team, thanks to RWA. Thanks, thanks, thanks.
Newton’s quote comes to mind, though writing a romance novel is by no means an accomplishment comparable to his contributions to science: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
My story; our book. Who are your giants? The guy who keeps your car running? Your day care mom? Your kid’s counselor? Your sister-in-law? To five commenters, I’ll send signed copies of Darius: Lord of Pleasures.