This weekend, I attended the Florida Writers Conference. It was a wonderful event for a number of reasons, but prime among them, I attended as a Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist, which meant I attended the awards banquet and spent much of my time at the conference extremely nervous and distracted, waiting to see if I would win an esteemed Royal Palm Literary Award.
Suspense is fun, isn't it?
Not only was my debut novel Mud awarded First Place in the Published Fantasy Novel category, but in a wild, unexpected twist that I could never have anticipated, Mud was also awarded the organization's top honor: Book of the Year.
That is me right now, and ever since Saturday night. I am utterly awestruck, in a this-isn't-real, can't-even-remember-what-I-said-in-my-thank-you-speech sort of way.
And yet, there is photo evidence that it did, indeed, happen:
(Many thanks to my husband, who had far greater presence of mind in that moment than I did, and took these pics.)
All I can say is that I'm so incredibly honored, and so excited to come back next year as the Florida Writers Conference's Person of Renown.
Curious what the buzz is about? Check out Mud for yourself here.
("But E.J., I thought you were from D.C.? " -- As some of you may know from my monthly newsletter updates, my time has been split between two homes for a couple years, D.C. and Florida--I have done my best to be an active member of the writing community both places. Yes, it's complicated. But, I love it.)