In case you haven't heard, my contemporary interracial BDSM erotic romance novel, Licorice Whips, through Phaze Books is up for the Romance Slam Jam Emma Awards for Steamy Novel of the Year!
I'm up against the heaviest of heavy hitters in the game: Deatri King-Bey, Zuri Day and my fellow Hot M.A.M.A., AlTonya Washington. I hate to sound cheesy like movie stars who say, "It's an honor to be nominated." However, I have to say to be spoken in the same group as these ladies, it truly is an honor just to be nominated. This will be my second Emma nomination.
It may sound strange, especially since 2015 marks my 10th year of being a published author, but if I don't win, I'm absolutely fine with that. I don't think I have enough published works to warrant an award like that. Not just yet. If for the next fifteen years I get nominated and never win like Susan Lucci, I would still hold my head up high. To be nominated means that someone recognized that my work was good enough to say, "Hey, you all should consider this a winning novel." That's a reward in itself. But also I feel like if I win, I have nothing else to strive for, no goal to hit. I want to always be hungry.
That said, if by some miracle the judges find my kinky tale about a candy maker who is a Dom on the side and can play with a woman with candy and make her quiver worthy enough for a win, here's the speech I would give:
Oh, wow! I didn't see this coming. I really didn't. I'm up against some real titans in this industry, so I was thrilled to be nominated with them. The people I want to thank for the book I have thanked in the book. They know who they are, and they are very important to me. I would like to publicly thank people I don't get to thank for getting me to this spot. Thank you to my mother, who was an avid reader and got us books, everything from fairy tale books to Dr. Seuss to Disney. She also got me my first typewriter when I was eleven. I haven't stopped pecking away on the keys since that day. Thank you to every English, Literature, and creative writing teacher and professor I've had from elementary school to grad school. You all gave me the foundation to build my stories. As long as I know the rules, I'll know how to break them. Thank you to authors like A.C. Arthur and Gwyneth Bolton, who read my work when I didn't think anyone else besides my family and close friends knew who I was, and gave me great reviews on my work. I'd like to thank every writer group I was a part of that helped me gain confidence to present my work to agents and editors, and submit my work to publishers. I would have never gotten that push without them. And finally, I'd like to thank every author whose books I have read over the years, and every soon-to-be published author in the room, who I will read in the future. To be a great author, you need to be a great reader. I sincerely believe that. I learn so much from reading that has helped enhance my own work. This award is coming home with me, but I wouldn't have it without a whole lot of help. Thank you.
That all sounds really nice, but what I'll end up saying is probably, "Wow! Thanks!" and run off the stage like an idiot. But hey, it's the thought that counts.
You can wish me luck if you want. I appreciate it. But if I don't win, I know I'll be okay. More than okay.