I am so happy to announce that DEBRIEFING THE DEAD is a finalist in the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America Booksellers Best Award, for their Patti Shenberger Best First Book Award. This is such an honor! The judges are all booksellers and librarians — two of my favorite categories of people! :)
Seriously, though — I’ve grown up around books, libraries, and bookstores my whole life. My earliest memories are going to the Berkeley Public Library as a very young child, and getting to choose a stack of books to bring home to read. When I was in 1st grade, I remember the day I was allowed to go to the older grades section of our class library and choose any book — I had told my teacher the Dick and Jane books were boring, and I think she was a bit surprised when I came back with a Nancy Drew mystery. Even more so when I proved I could read it.
Later, I biked to the library by myself in the summer. Or biked to the mall, to go to the bookstore. As an adult, my father-in-law owned a bookstore for many-many years, up until his death in 2008. (Yes, that’s the ONLY reason I married my husband. ;)) I used to stop by on my way home from college classes, and browse his shelves for used French novels (en français, bien sûr!).
So, when I say it’s an honor to final in a contest where the judges are booksellers and librarians, I mean — it. Is. An. HONOR. And then to be told I made it into the TOP THREE — I cried. I’m not gonna lie.
This book was SUCH a labor of love. It’s the one I wrote after trying unsuccessfully to interest an agent or editor with a medieval time travel (which is now under the figurative bed in a figurative box, and will stay there — not even remotely figuratively) and two romantic mystery/suspense novels (which I will be publishing later this year). It’s the one where I said, “I’m going to write this one for me. I’m going to write the book I would like to read. I hope it gets published some day, but either way, I’m doing this how I want. Period.”
It was a risk, and again, I’m not going to lie: It was rejected a lot, before The Wild Rose Press took a chance on it. But I think the gamble paid off in the long run. ;) And if people who READ FOR A LIVING like it, well, that’s enough for me.