This year, I was thrilled when I learned that my buddy Kendra Leigh Castle is a Rita Finalist in the Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure category! So without further adieu, here's Kendra talking about being a Rita finalist...
Did I sit around on Friday the 25th wishing for my very own “You’re a RITA finalist” call? Well, duh, yeah. But did I actually expect to GET a call? Nope.
Don’t get me wrong. RENEGADE ANGEL is a book I’m very proud of, one of those stories that showed up in my imagination and insisted I write it right now (and of course, I was writing a contracted book at the time, so it gave me fits trying to hold a big, bossy fallen angel at bay while I worked on something else that people were, you know, paying me for).
But lots of amazing authors enter the RITAs. Finaling isn’t something you expect. It’s just something you dream of, something you hope for. I’ll tell you what, though. Dreaming of how it would feel to have a member of the RWA board call me up and tell me my book was a RITA finalist was nowhere near as amazing as having it actually happen.
I’m never going to forget the sound of Jeanne Adams’ voice, and how lovely it was to have someone to be excited with me in that moment. She’ll probably remember me as the least coherent finalist she spoke with…I have vague memories of my mouth opening and increasingly high-pitched sounds coming out of it. And some words, which may or may not have made sense when strung together. I’m thinking “not”. Still, she was very nice. And I’m glad I waited until I hung up to sound my barbaric yawp (complete with booty-shaking victory dance).
RENEGADE ANGEL is a book that means a lot to me, for a few reasons. It marked a new chapter in my fledgling writing career, the beginning of my relationship with Harlequin (which is awesome, btw), and apart from all that, was just a hell of a lot of fun to write. Raum will probably always be one of my favorite heroes—see the picture I used for his inspiration and try not to melt—and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he’s found a way to get even more attention for his big, black-winged self.
It isn’t really important whether or not I win. I mean, yeah, I would love to! But right now, I’m just busy being honored that I’ve been singled out among all my amazing peers for contributing something special. Thanks for letting me share my excitement with you!Thank YOU, Kendra for sharing your story and your very YUMMY hero with us! Oh, and thanks for telling us about your call from my lovely Bandita Le Duchesse, Jeanne. Actually, Aunty would be curious to hear that yawp and see your booty-shaking victory dance. If you do win (and my fingers are xxed that you will!), will you do an even more vigorous version of that dance? Will sequins be involved?!?!
Do any of you readers have any suggestions for Kendra when she goes up on stage to claim her Rita award on July 1st? Any dance moves or costume suggestions?
I happen to know that Kendra is taking her dad as her date for the big awards ceremony, but if you could go, who would you ask to go with you? And what would you wear?