Sunday, August 22, 2010

What I should have said

My precious
The weekend of August 14 was the Romance Writers of Australia’s annual conference. It was an especially important weekend for me for a number of reasons. First, my New York agent was also attending the conference so we had a chance to catch up. Second, I was giving my first workshop which I had spent the last couple of weeks preparing. Thirdly, it was the first RWAus conference I had attended since the release of my debut novel, NIGHT’S COLD KISS, last September. And finally, that same novel had been nominated for the Romantic Elements category of the Romantic Book of the Year, or RuBY as it is more affectionately known (it's the Australian version of the RWAmerica Rita Awards).  The RuBY has four categories: Short Sweet; Short Sexy; Long Romance; and Romantic Elements and is announced at the Awards dinner at the Saturday night of the conference.

The ARRA mass author signing  next to Maggie Nash
My fellow finalists, including my friend -- Rita nominated Bronwyn Parry -- were simply awesome. I was so very proud to have made the finals with such an impressive group of writers. So to say that I wasn’t prepared to win is an understatement. When
my name was called, I went deaf. I was so sure I’d heard wrong, but everyone seemed to be smiling at me and clapping. I had nothing prepared for this.  Somehow, I made it to my feet and staggered up to the podium. And opened my thank you speech with “Oh Crap – now what do I say?” or something along those lines. I remember I thanked my agent who was in attendance and of course my husband, but I can’t remember what else I said. So I thought I might give the speech here that I would like to have given that night.

Me with my bling
 Firstly I would like to thank the RWA for the support it has given to me over the years on my journey to publication and since.
I would also like to thank the coordinator, Louise and all the readers that made this award possible. 

I thank my agent, Jennifer Schober, for her belief in me and my editor at Eos Books, Diana Gill for helping to shape my story into the book it became.

To my family and friends, especially my boys, my parents, Cathy, Mel and Rachel -- I appreciate all your encouragement and for listening to me when the doubt demons came calling.

But I would particularly like to thank my husband of over 20 years, who put up with takeaway dinners, my disorganised mess and my endless hours at the computer. Without you I could never have done this and without you I would never have wanted to. You are the ink in my pen.

So that is my speech. I know that last part is a bit corny, but love does that to you. At least I didn’t say wind beneath my wings :)

The other winners of the RuBY were:
Short Sweet:
Sharon Archer
'Marriage Reunited: Baby On The Way'

Short Sexy:
Amy Andrews
'A Doctor, A Nurse: A Christmas Baby'

Long Romance:
Sophia James
'Mistletoe Magic'


nymfaux said...


...Well, you'll never be unprepared again, will you? ;)

That's so awesome and exciting!!!!!! And just because you don't remember most of the speech you DID give, doesn't mean that you weren't witty, and amazing, and thankful to the right people ;)

Patricia Lynne said...

w00t! Congrats! I'd be struck speechless too! And even if I had a speech prepared, I'd probably forget how to read! lol Look at it this way, at least you came off humble cuz you didn't expect to win. =D

Barbara E. said...

Congrats! I loved your speech, and I'm sure everyone else will too. Better late than never, LOL.

Brandlwyne aka Brandy B said...

awww, sweet!!!


suzi love said...

Your first speech was great and the second even better.
Big hugs on your well deserved success,
So happy for you,

Eleni Konstantine said...

I agree with Suzi - both speeches are special. Well done Tracey!!!

Kitty Bucholtz said...

Awww! I love it! Especially the last bit!

Katie Dalton said...

Congratulations! Its nice to have people support us no matter what we do. :)

Helen Lowe said...

Congratulations, Tracey--like all the Supe authors I was thrilled when news of your win came through. And remember to keep polishing that bling! :-)

Tracey O'Hara said...

Thank you all for you heart warming comments. I have been at work all day so have not had a chance to reply to you all individually.

Moonsanity said...

I'm so impressed that you were able to speak at all. I can't imagine how awesome, yet frightening it must have been to hear your name. You deserve it--the book rocked. As far as thanking your husband--that is not corny at all. I was at a chat where some younger women were speaking about their husband not supporting their writing--to the point of sneaking time to write. Wow, I was shocked. Mine sounds much like yours--we've been married 21 years-and I assumed others were the same way. I guess we have keeper guys:)

Terri Garey said...

Your post made me all teary, Tracey! Congratulations, again, and WOW what a line up of stress you had going into this conference! :-) Good for you, girl, and I'm sure you handled everything just perfectly, in your usual wonderful style!

Sharon S. said...

what a great moment! I am so happy for you.

GB (formerly JD) said...

Congratulations, Tracey! And on your first book too!

It's a shame I missed your signing at Infinitas the other week. I'll have to keep an eye on the calendar for your next round of signings.

Mel Teshco said...

I was so glad to be sitting beside you that night Tracey and seeing your jaw drop to the floor when your name was announced - classic!!! And a big thank you for including me as part of your friends - we've had a ride and a half - and you've been a great listener too =)