[This is part 3 of a summary of Spookygirl’s journey toward publication. Use the Progress tag to access all related entries.]
The Seattle trip was fantastic – Thom Kephart of Amazon could not have done a better job keeping everything organized. My fellow finalists and I (along with our guests, and representatives from Amazon, CreateSpace, and Penguin) were treated to a fantastic dinner at the Purple Café and Wine Bar. And my mother and I – both total newbies to the city – had plenty of time for sightseeing and doing the whole tourist thing.
(Yes, we saw the Space Needle. No, we did not go up to the top.)
But you didn’t come to this blog for touristy stuff, right?
To be honest, my memory of the awards breakfast is somewhat of a blur. We were shuttled over to Amazon’s headquarters, where we mingled over breakfast for a little while. Well, we were supposed to mingle over breakfast. I was way too nervous even for coffee. I’m pretty sure all six of us were dying to hear the news no matter what it was.
|Photo courtesy of Thom Kephart|
The awards ceremony started with opening remarks from Thom. Then, one by one, each finalist was invited up to give a short speech and read an excerpt.
(Memo to future finalists: Feel free to be creative with the excerpt you read. Choose whatever bit of your manuscript you feel like sharing. I thought sticking with the beginning of my story would be safest, but once I realized most of the other finalists hadn’t done that, I wished I’d chosen differently. I would've loved to read a little of Violet's faux séance, or her interaction with the jocks and Dead Dirk.)
Then it was time for the winners to be announced. I seriously barely remember any of it; I heard my name, and I was given my award, and I shook hands with people, and I couldn’t stop smiling, and I tried my best not to pass out. Photos were taken. My contract was explained to me. I texted people and announced the news on Facebook.
I didn’t stop shaking for hours. I’m shaking again now, just from remembering.
I keep a mental list of my five best days ever. June 13, 2011 is at the top of the list now – better than sneaking onto the seaQuest set back in 1994, better than scaring Hugh Jackman with a My Little Pony. Best. Day. Ever.
Up next: So what happens after the contest?