Wow, y’all. Just…wow. It’s been eight days since I got “the call” and a full week since the announcement went out, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around this.
Front Page Fatality is nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel.
See? Wow. I can’t think of a more fitting word. Except maybe these: thank you.
Thank you. And you, and you, and all of you who loved Nichelle and thought the book worthy of this amazing honor.
I have so very much to be thankful for, and my fabulous readers—every single one of you—are high on that list before I close my eyes every night. I write and rewrite scenes, study craft, and pick other authors’ brains every day in an effort to write better books for you. I appreciate your loyalty and kind words more than you could ever know.
But this? I never would have thought it possible. You guys made it so. And I have a celebration story for you.
Last week, my family was at Disney World, which is my very favorite place on the planet. I spend months planning Disney trips, I’m always first out of bed on departure day, and I am never ready to come home. I LOVE it there.
We were celebrating birthdays: almost all of them, really. We’ve taken each of the monkeys for their third birthday, so technically, this was baby K’s third birthday trip. But we left the day after hubby’s birthday, so we celebrated with him, too. And my oldest monkey will be ten this Friday, so she got some b-day love while we were gone.
All that plus Disney was enough to equal a pretty fabulous week.
And then y’all stepped in.
Tuesday afternoon, I was just sitting down in the gorgeous dining room at Be Our Guest restaurant, inside Belle’s castle in the new Fantasyland. I’d been reading about the food for months, and the restaurant itself is top-notch Disney. The ornate, floor-to-cieling windows even give the illusion of a snowy evening in the middle of a sunny Florida day.
I excused myself from the table for a phone call, thinking I’d made a mistake on my Agatha forms, or something hadn’t gone through.
Because the sweet woman on the phone who identified herself as the chair of the Agatha committee just could NOT be calling to tell me I was a nominee. I apologized for the noise in the restaurant and told her where I was.
And then she said “I’m calling to congratulate you on your nomination for Best First Novel for Front Page Fatality.”
My jaw actually dropped. Involuntarily. I was speechless for a good thirty seconds (and if you’ve ever met me, you know that’s saying something).
“Are you SURE?” I blurted. “You’re kidding, right?”
“No, I’m not.” she said. “I have the list right here.”
I asked her if she was reading it right about a dozen more times. She laughed and said she was. Then she told me about panel assignments and opening night while I walked around the restaurant nodding and trying to hold it together.
I’m pretty sure I managed a “thank you so much, I’ll see you in May,” before I hung up.
And then, I. Lost. It.
My mother-in-law and oldest daughter jumped up and came running when I started bawling, and I’m pretty sure my whole family was afraid someone had died. It took me several tries to get the words “Front Page is up for an Agatha” out of my mouth.
And I have you to thank. If I could hand write each of you a note, I totally would. But if I do that, my new book will never get finished. So consider yourself hugged (or find me at Malice and get a real hug, plus maybe a few tears) and accept my gratitude. Y’all just blow me away.
If it’s possible that getting such news could be made better, it was made better by timing. To be in the castle themed for the princess who loves books, in my favorite place in the world, surrounded by people I love: I only have two words.
My hubby even got me the perfect memento for that: a Cinderella slipper charm for my bracelet. And I will think of y’all every time I look at it.