So, unlike the big fix in the US Presidential elections (see post below) the voting for this year's American Title contest is legit and still on. The winner gets a publishing contract with Dorchester Publishing. To vote, send an e-mail to this address: email@example.com with the title of your favorite entry in the subject line. (Hint: Out of Sight)
Voting to choose the winner continues until March 2, 2008. Today, I'm glad to host Trish Milburn, one of the final two contenders. Welcome, Trish!
Congratulations on being in the final two for the American Title contest this year, Trish! For my blog pals who aren't familiar with this contest, how does it work?
Initially, Dorchester and Romantic Times make the call for entries. Each year, they have a special sub-genre on which they focus. This year it was paranormal romance. From there, they go through and determine which entries they want to see the full manuscripts for. Then they weed it down to 10 finalists, who compete in up to five rounds of online judging by visitors to the Romantic Times Web site. Each round focuses on some aspect of the books -- descriptions of heroes and heroines, romantic scenes, etc. Each round has a two-week voting period after which the two contestants with the fewest votes are eliminated. We're down to the final two contestants now -- the talented Helen Scott Taylor and myself.
What's your entry, Out of Sight, about?
Out of Sight is about Jenna McKay, a street cop who can make herself invisible but doesn't very often because of the fear that if the government finds out they'll turn her into a lab rat to find out why she has her ability. As you might guess, the government does find out and delivers the news of their awareness via a very sexy agent from an agency that apparently has no name and a murky agenda. But instead of shipping her off to a lab for study, they send her to the White House to go "undercover" to find out which person inside the most powerful address in America is sending threats to the president. Identifying the culprit isn't as easy as it should be,
and neither is figuring out if Agent Daniel Webster is friend or foe.
That sounds fantastic. What I wouldn't give to be invisible some days... Congratulations on your Young Adult and Series Romance book contracts this year. I was so excited when I heard about these deals. When are those books hitting the shelves?
A Firefighter in the Family is going to be out this September from Harlequin American. I don't have a date on the second American yet. My first YA book, Heartbreak River (Razorbill), will be out in the spring of 2009.
Can't wait. I know your "overnight success" came after many years of writing and lots of heartbreakingly close calls. What are your thoughts on so many things hitting for you this year? Karma? Fate? (Or did you finally sell your soul to the devil... I've had the contract on my desk for a while, but am too squeamish to prick my finger for the ink.)
LOL! No contracts that smell faintly of sulphur and with burnt edges here. I think I just refused to give up and became more and more determined to prove to myself that I could do this. My agent and I kept lots of my projects out there, and I took what opportunities presented themselves to me. The American sale came about because of a publisher-sponsored contest, and the American Title is, of course, also co-sponsored by a publisher.
Proof that contests can work! You've been on the Board of RWA for the past few years. Would you recommend this to other writers? What have you learned from the experience?
It really is a very enlightening experience. I have a whole new appreciation for how much work it takes to successfully run an organization the size of RWA, and I'm in awe of how much the staff accomplishes with so few people. I had served on my chapter board for several years before this, and I felt I contributed positively there and thought I'd try it at the national level. After all, someone has to step up to the plate and volunteer for the task of board service.
That said, it has to be an individual decision. It's a fair amount of work, particularly if really big issues pop up or during the weeks leading up to board meetings and the National Conference. But I'm glad I've had the experience.
Thanks for being here, Trish, and good luck!
Thanks, Maureen, for hosting me!