It was a week ago -- over a week -- that the email fell into my in box late at night -- a quiet little bombshell..
At first I was elated -- a kind of nunc dimittis moment. This is something I've hardly dared to dream of . . . but then, somehow I felt suspicious. Immediately I replied to the email, asking if this was true.
I emailed my agent and my editor, asking them if they know about this nomination (generally my editor is the one to tell me if something noteworthy has happened.)
No answer -- not a surprise -- it was late at night, as I said. John was out of town and there I sat, wanting desperately to tell someone this good news -- if it was good news and not a cruel joke.
Neither the dogs nor the cats were the least bit interested when I explained to them that the Anthony is one of the mystery genre's most prestigious awards. Even if you don't win, just the nomination is the kind of thing authors have on their book covers or after their name -- as in Vicki Lane - Anthony Nominee.
This fan-based award is tied to Bouchercon -- the mystery convention in the US -- and the nominations come from attendees of the past years as well as those registered for this year. Final voting is done at Bouchercon by those present and the awards are presented on the next-to-last day.
It's a really big deal. And I really wasn't sure . . .
I passed a fretful night.
The next morning I had a cautious email from my editor saying maybe it was true but she was surprised she hadn't heard something and she would check with Publicity.
Then there was a phone call from my agent, delighted and ready to celebrate -- until I told her that the editor and I weren't entirely sure . . .
Poor Ann! By the time we hung up, I had managed to convince her that I just might be the victim of a scam or a practical joker.
Time passed. Slowly. No word from anyone.
Finally, about mid-morning, I decided to email Jim Huang, one of the co-chairs of this year's Bouchercon, and ask if this was for real. I met Jim last year in Baltimore and he was friendly and approachable so I figured that an email from a semi-demented author might not bother him too much. Besides, did I mention I was desperate to know the truth?
And then he answered.
Yes, Vicki, it's true. You are a nominee.
Oh, rapture! Oh, joy!
But, he cautioned, this news isn't to be made public till we release the entire list . . . the following Monday, he said. Which turned out to be Tuesday afternoon.
So I've been writing about chickens and flowers and asparagus instead of shouting this good news from the virtual rooftops of the blogosphere.
But now I can!
Talk about gathering rosebuds -- this feels like the whole garden!