Jun 10, 2010
The LoveCats are thrilled that two of our pride have finalled in the prestigious Romance Writers of Australia’s R*BY Award (Romantic Book of the Year)! This Award is judged by readers, which makes it even more special.
And even better than that – between them they’ve finalled with *three* books!
Sharon Archer is up on the shortlist of Short Sweet Book of the Year twice, and one of them is her debut book. Marriage Reunited: Baby On The Way and Single Father: Wife And Mother Wanted are both finalists! Yay!
And Tracey O’Hara’s (the alter ego of Tracie Sommers) debut, Night’s Cold Kiss has finalled in the Romantic Elements category! Woohoo!
The Award was coordinated by the gorgeous Louise Reynolds, who did a stellar job – three cheers for Louise!
When I spoke to Sharon about her final, she said, “I re-read lovely Louise’s notification email about the R*BY so many times to check it was real that the words were in danger of being permanently etched into my computer screen! It’s an honour and the most incredible thrill to be one of this year’s finalists. And I think so much credit goes to others, my fabulous writing friends and critique partners and my husband, because without that support and encouragement and wisdom, it would have been so easy to give up at times.”
Tracey was excited too! She said, "In 2007 Night’s Cold Kiss was a finalist in the Emerald and I am so excited to have rounded this off with a R*BY nomination three years later. To me, writing has become everything I want to do for the rest of my life. It is not an easy job, and at times, it’s downright frustrating. But I don’t think I could ever not do it.
I’ve been watching Masterchef on TV recently and the parallels to writing are amazing. I see the Masterchef contestants tearing their hair out in a stress test – struggling to stay in the competition, knowing it is only going to get more difficult and they’ll have to work even harder to stay there. Some people might think it’s crazy, and in a way it is. I mean why would you put yourself through that much pressure? But I totally get it. That struggle to learn as much as possible, striving to be the best you can. Never giving up.
My favourite part of the show is the invention test where they really get to test their skills and creativity to come up with a dish they can be proud of and hope the judges will love too. I totally understand that swelling of pride when the judge, Gary says - I Looove it - . I totally get that euphoric, surreal feeling, that enormous sense of achievement that is written all over the contestant’s face. I know what that feels like. Being a R*BY finalist feels like that.
I also understand the absolute frustration when the final dish is not what the contestant imagined, when they can’t quite translate that dream dish onto the plate exactly how had it in their mind.
That is what writing is like. Hard work, frustration, rejection – it definitely isn’t for the faint hearted. But when it works, the sense of absolute fulfilment and pride is amazing. It’s the best job in the world.
Finally, I would like to say a very big thank you to Louise for the fantastic job she does coordinating this massive award. And I would especially love to say thanks to all the R*BY reader judges for giving up their time to read the books. It’s extremely generous of you to take the time to read and score these books. And thanks also to RWA for the support. Without all of you I would not be where I am today.”
To celebrate, we’re throwing a party in the comments section, and Sharon and Tracey are offering up a copy of their finalling books. To win, just leave a comment. And to make the party even more fun, let us know if you’ve ever won or finalled in something. The Grade 5 Spelling Bee? The Junior Tap Dancer’s Dance-off? We’d love to celebrate for you too!