I would like to first congratulate all the winners of last night’s award ceremony! Among the winners was our chapter’s very own Patt Mihailoff, Author of the Year, who gave such a warm and inspiring speech! She is an inspiration to so many in our chapter and it was wonderful to see her accept her award!
Though I oftentimes take it for granted, I know that it is a distinct privilege to be able to live in New York City (Okay, Jersey City, but what’s a 7-minute ride under the Hudson?). Last night, as I mixed and mingled at RWA-NYC’s 19th Annual Golden Apple Awards, I had one of those “Wow! I’m so lucky!” moments. I can’t imagine many other places where I might have had the opportunity to mingle with agents and editors from all the big NY publishing houses in such an intimate setting.
It really hit me, as I sat with friend and fellow Regency author, Sarah Tormey, just how fortunate I was. My dream editor, Tessa Woodward, came right up to us and struck up a conversation! Not only that, but she stayed and chatted with us for a good thirty minutes!
And when Miriam Kriss from the Irene Goodman Agency struck up a conversation with me at the drink table (she noted that I needed to stay to the right half of the table where the non-alcoholic drinks were), I was simply amazed.
These are people! Not mean, scary ogres sitting behind their desks, taking their red REJECTION pens and laughing maliciously as they mark our manuscripts “Slush Pile”. Now, that’s not necessarily what I thought they were doing, but you know what I mean. There’s an intimidation factor there. These agents and editors could be your ticket to the NY Times Bestseller list! Not to mention, they hold our egos in their hands.
But what I learned last night – what they all proved as they approached me or made their speeches at the podium – is that they really do care. They really do want us, as authors, to succeed. Miriam Kriss referred to the slush pile as the “Slush Mountain” in her speech last night, and told us that she is prone to going through the slush pile on occasion. And, amazingly, she’s found a couple of NY Times Best Selling Authors in that pile.
And beyond having the opportunity to mingle with dream agents and editors, I also have the privilege to be part of such a wonderful family as the RWA-NYC chapter. The warm welcome I received from my fellow members, the inquiries to my health and my husband’s (he had an appendectomy last weekend, for those who don’t know), and the genuine interest in how things were progressing career-wise were overwhelming.
Indeed, I am fortunate in so many ways, and feeling so grateful today for the exciting opportunities life throws my way 🙂