Things were quite a muddle over the weekend, and I'm afraid I didn't manage to get this LJ entry copied over to my blog as usual. I'm only just catching up with myself now!
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Believe it or not I had actually managed to forget all about the Rainbow Awards winners being announced overnight, but I can assure you now that the penny has well and truly dropped! Word came through before I was properly awake this morning that BETWEEN NOW AND THEN had been a runner up in the Paranormal Romance category, swiftly followed by the news that MAKE DO AND MEND had been awarded not just Best Gay Historical Romance but also - and I find I'm having a lot of trouble comprehending this and am expecting to wake up from the dream at any moment - Best Gay Novel as well.
At the moment I'm struggling to process the news. I've been writing for many years and have had little or no feedback from anybody in all that time except dear personal friends who are always very sweet - but one does occasionally have to wonder whether or not they're being unflinchingly honest. ("Did you enjoy reading that?" is the literary equivalent of "Does my bum look big in this?" - sometimes a tough question to answer truthfully!) Putting a book out into the big world and knowing that it will be scrutinised in minute detail by people who really know their stuff is a bit like sending your child off to face an especially tough exam; you know you've done everything you can to prepare them, but in the end they will have to stand or fall on their own merits - and afterwards you're balanced between hoping for success and bracing yourself to say something reassuring and supportive should they fail.
Well, this 'child' has exceeded all my hopes and expectations and I couldn't possibly be more thrilled. It's a huge honour, and I'd like to thank everyone who voted and all those who organised the awards procedure. You can be sure that this is a moment I will never, ever forget for as long as I live!
I would also like to congratulate those of my fellow Manifold Press authors who impressed the judges: Jane Elliot for her delightfully kinky MONTANA RED and Julie Bozza for her tender age-gap romance THE APOTHECARY'S GARDEN. I know how hard we all work and how much we all care about what we're doing; it's just wonderful that somebody else has recognised that, too, and has marked that recognition in such a public way.