Pub Rants

Category: Awards

Two Years In A Row!

STATUS: First day back in the office after 6 weeks. Slight chaos.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? BRANDY (YOU’RE A FINE GIRL) by Looking Glass

I honestly didn’t think it was possible but obviously it is. *grin*

Huge congrats to Sherry Thomas for winning the RITA-award for Best Historical Romance two years in a row. In 2010, she won for NOT QUITE A HUSBAND. This year, it’s HIS AT NIGHT’s turn!

Live From Seattle!

STATUS: A beautiful sunny day here in Seattle. I feel very lucky because what a lovely city.

What’s playing on the iPod or the XM radio right now? A crackling fire at the Doubletree is all the music I have at the moment

As I mentioned yesterday, I flew to Seattle for the Philip K. Dick Awards on behalf of my author Sara Creasy who currently lives in Melbourne, Australia and couldn’t make the trip.

The awards are part of Norwescon and opening ceremonies began last night. If you are here at the convention, by all means, come an introduce yourself. I’d love to say hello.

But I’m posting this entry today to let you all know that Norwescon is live podcasting the awards ceremony.

If you want to tune in here is the url. Fingers crossed that Sara wins and you’ll see yours truly on the stage accepting the award on her behalf!

Live video by Ustream

The Power Of Story

STATUS: Heading to Seattle today.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? PERRY’S PLACE by Richard Underhill

When I was in St. Louis two weeks ago visiting family, my mom asked me if I wanted to go and catch a matinee movie. If you know my mom, you’ll know that she loves shoot ‘em up action films, mysteries, and thrillers. The more blood and guts, the better.

In general, not my cup of tea. But the point was to hang with Mom so I said, sure, and let her pick the film. For a matinee price, I can live with just about anything.

So off we went but she had gotten the movie start time wrong so as we sat down, the movie had already begun by a few minutes.

About 10 minutes later, I had a rather puzzled expression on my face and Mom asked what was up. The theater was almost empty so I leaned over and whispered, “I recognize this. This movie is based off of a short story.”

She shrugged as she didn’t know.

But I was right. It WAS based off of a short story—and one I hadn’t read in probably over 20 years.

The movie was The Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt–based on the short story by Philip K. Dick.

And that, folks, is the power of story. That after 20+ years, I still recognized it even though I hadn’t thought about it in years.

That’s what you want to achieve with your own writing. And speaking of Philip K. Dick, my author Sara Creasy has been nominated for the Philip K Dick Award for her debut SF novel SONG OF SCARABAEUS.

Why not check out the list and if you haven’t picked up one of these titles to read, why not? Editors are reluctant to acquire new SF authors because the sales numbers can’t compare to fantasy, so selling a debut SF writer is a tough biz (but I’m happy to report I just sold another debut SF author 3 months ago and gasp, a guy to boot!).

So if you love SF, do your part. Pick up one of these nominees.

Congrats NLA RITA Finalists!

STATUS: This is how I like to start my morning.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? HOW WE DO by The Game Ft. 50 Cent

Not all the finalists have been notified so I’m hoping we might hear some more news as the RWA website doesn’t update until the finalist has been reached.

Still, we are super excited to say HUGE CONGRATS to…

Simone Elkeles for RULES OF ATTRACTION–Young Adult Romance

And to

Sherry Thomas for HIS AT NIGHT–Historical Romance

Both of these authors won the RITA award last year so if you haven’t picked up one of their amazing novels, what are you waiting for?

The Slow Build

Status: Winter finally decided to show up in Denver. Eight inches of snow and boy is it cold.

What’s Playing on the XM or iPod right now? 1983 by Neon Trees

One of the things I love the most about repping titles in the children’s world is the very different expectation children’s editors have for a debut author.

In the adult world, sometimes a new writer is treated via the spaghetti test. Let’s throw it out there and see if it sticks. If it doesn’t, time to move on.

In the Children’s realm especially for middle grade, there is an expectation that most successful mg titles will be through a slow build. With this in mind, the publisher expects to support the title for the long run. Now it’s not to say there aren’t successful titles straight out of the gate. There are and trust me, editors are excited and happy about that.

The difference is that they understand that an instant success is the exception to the rule rather than the norm. And this is what makes today’s news so cool.

A year and a half after initial publication, Janice Hardy’s first book in the Healing Wars series is now starting to get recognition.

Finally we can share some big news out of the UK. THE PAIN MERCHANTS (the US title is The Shifter) has been shortlisted for the 2011 Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize. This is a big deal. We’ve known for 2 months but couldn’t say anything until today.
We also found out that in the U.S., THE SHIFTER is a nominee for the 2011-2012 Truman Readers Award for the state of Missouri.

The coveted state reading lists—landing on one is usually a sign that a title/series is starting to penetrate the reading market—especially for teachers and librarians.

So huge news—and coming quite a bit of time after initial publication. I’m thinking this spaghetti strand is definitely going to stick!

More Neon Trees music on iLike

RWA—Orlando, Florida (Day After)

STATUS: Well, you can see how well blogging went during the conference!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? LONELY NO MORE by Rob Thomas

I took a ton of notes so I could share with all of you during the conference. I had one hour on Friday to do it but ended up getting sucked into answering emails during that time frame. I know! Blog readers should come first.

So I’ll have lots to share tomorrow but today I want to say a HUGE congrats to Sherry Thomas and Simone Elkeles for winning two RITAs at Saturday night’s awards ceremony. Even with six RITA nominations, a win is always tough. We couldn’t be more thrilled.

Here is Sara Megibow and I with NLA’s RITA winners.

2010 RITA Nominations

STATUS: Feeling much better although that’s not hard to do after how awful I felt during the last two days. To be a little gross, I can’t believe my body can produce this much mucus. Blah. Kristin—1 Flu–9

What’s playing on the iPod right now? HARVEST MOON by Neil Young

This post is long overdue as the news came in last week—and big news it was. Nelson Literary Agency has 6 RITA nominations for 2010! Woot.

Biggest congrats to Carolyn Jewel who is a double finalist! Much deserved Carolyn as I think you are an amazing writer who is flying under the radar and shouldn’t be.

2010 RITA for Historical Romance Finalist

2010 RITA for Paranormal Romance Finalist

2010 RITA for Regency Historical Romance Finalist

2010 RITA for Romance Novella Finalists
“This Wicked Gift” by Courtney Milan in The Heart of Christmas

2010 RITA for Young Adult Romance

News From The Floor

STATUS: Considering I hit the floor by 9 a.m. and don’t hit my hotel room until midnight, I’m doing okay.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE by UB40

I’ve got a quick 15 minutes that I can pop online to give you an RWA rundown. For a more updated behind the scenes look, you might want to check out the Smart Bitches site. Those gals know the scoop because I obviously don’t. I sat next to Heather Osborn from Tor at the Wed. night SB party and since we hadn’t ever met in person, we didn’t know until the next day when I sat next to her at the FF&P award ceremony and we finally introduced ourselves. Note to self: it’s easier to network if you actually introduce yourself (neither one of us were wearing badges).

Big news on this end. Linnea Sinclair’s SHADES OF DARK won the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal P.R.I.S.M award for best futuristic.


I acquitted myself well with the acceptance speech on her behalf—didn’t trip on the stairs or anything.


I had the thrill of handing over my iPhone to Catherine Asaro (who was sitting next to me) so she could text her congratulations to Linnea directly. In fact, a ton of Linnea’s friends were at the table so much iPhone passing ensued. Linnea was so tickled. It was almost like being there.

This morning standing in the lobby, a sudden posse of agents, editors, and the wonderful reviewers from All About Romance gathered to dish the dirt. (or lament depending on your perspective).

It was declared that paranormal historical romance might be dead (or never really got off the ground).

Contemporary paranormal was going strong and all of us had fingers crossed that historical romance was on the rise.

We shook the magic eight ball for that. Big smile here. Off to do my three workshops that RWA, in all its wisdom, decided to schedule all on the same day back-to-back-to-back. Sigh.

I may not have a voice by 5:30 pm.



STATUS: Hugely excited. Today was just a day for good news.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? KOKOMO by Beach Boys

I have to say that Denver is expecting a fairly large snow storm tomorrow. I wish I was in Kokomo.

But today is for celebration nonetheless.

Congratulations, Sherry, on your double RITA nomination for PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS for Best First Book and Best Historical Romance.

And Congrats also to Jamie for hitting #15 on the New York Times Bestseller List for HOTEL. This means it will actually be printed in the paper rather than just online with the Extended List.

Happy happy happy dance!

Teens Speak

STATUS: Tired but happy from the long working weekend.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? IN YOUR EYES by Peter Gabriel

ALA wraps up today—for me anyway. I actually think Librarians are meeting for another day or two to finish up discussions.

Hands down the best session I attended was on Sunday afternoon when the Best Books for Young Adults met with area teens to discuss the titles that have been nominated.

The session was packed as editors, agents, librarians all sat in to hear about which books caught the teens’ attention on the nomination list. Unfortunately, the nomination list was 9 pages long and the teens only got a chance to air their views on the first four pages. I, for one, would like to vote on making the session significantly longer so we could hear what the teens had to say on all the possible titles but that wasn’t an option yesterday. The last five pages of nominated titles were done in 25 minutes and teens were only allowed to speak once about a title they liked from those 5 pages. I was pretty thrilled to hear two teens pick Brooke Taylor’s UNDONE as their choice from those undiscussed pages.

As for the teen commentary, it was pretty revealing.

Yes there were some teens who were so excited about a book, it was hard for them to articulate anything beyond “I really, really loved this” but there were many teens who were sharp, analytical, articulate in their views about why they did or didn’t like something.

Heck, I wanted to hire some of them to be my teen review committee!

Of course there were the usual gushes for Stephenie Meyer, Melissa Marr, and Suzanne Collins’s THE HUNGER GAMES and Cory Doctorow’s LITTLE BROTHER but there were also some surprises.

Like the teen boy who prefaced his comment that he wasn’t one for poetry but did enjoy THE APPRENTICE’S MASTERPICE: A STORY OF MEDIEVAL SPAIN. Told in verse no less! I think some of us swooned and wondered where this kid was when we were in high school!

Boys liked Eoin Colfer’s AIRMAN and James Kennedy’s THE ORDER OF ODD-FISH.

Girls loved AUDREY, WAIT!

Other favorites were GRACELING and NATION. Also, THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR DOGS had very passionate responses and made me want to read the book.

There were mixed teen reviews on LUXE and lots of teens were drawn to a novel called GONE (as in the title grabbed their interest and they picked it up) but ultimately none of them gave the title a favorable review.

Also interesting was the fact that the books that the teens loved didn’t always line up with the titles the committee members from Best Books For Young Adults were voting for to make the final list.

And I’m sure you’ve heard this already but the Printz Award for best YA for 2008 went to JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta.

A title I’d never heard of I have to admit.

Newbery Medal went to Neil Gaiman’s THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.