Phone Didn’t Ring Tuesday? We’ve Got Consolation (Prizes and Chocolate!!)

Nooooooooooooo!!!! How did this happen? How can the universe be so MEAN and STUPID and UNFAIR???!!

Your book is so, so good, and everyone who’s read it loves it…and you worked so hard to get it that way! It had “RWA Nomination” written all freakin’ OVER it.

But the phone didn’t ring on Tuesday. (Okay, it rang, but  it was your kid’s orthodontist reminding you of that afternoon appointment. Thanks, Dr. Ramirez. Yes, I’m reminding her to floss.)


Well. we’re here for you today with shoulders to cry on and free rein to rant and rave and cry and scream and curse and do whatever else you have to do to let it allllll out, baby!

(If Chumbawumba’s “I Get Knocked Down, and I Get Up Again” would help, click here.)

We’ve also got chocolate and other awesome prizes because we know how bummed out you are, and we love you.

We’re also here to remind you of what a crapshoot the Golden Heart and RITA nominations can be.

Out of more than a thousand manuscripts entered in the Golden Heart, only 10% can final. With the RITAs, it’s 4%. FOUR PERCENT. Out of all those wonderful, blood-sweat-and-tears, micro-edited books.

If you’ve been hanging with the Rubies for awhile, you’ve heard us talk repeatedly , about how many of us have had manuscripts get stuck in the bottom quarter of Golden Heart scoring one year, then go on to final the next year—and even win. And also plenty of manuscripts final one year, then don’t get out of the bottom quarter the next. And we’ve all read RITA entries we were SURE we’d see on the finalist list…and crickets. All it takes is one judge knocking off half a point because the hero has the same name as their ex, and that stellar read is off the list.

It’s called subjectivity, and there’s no avoiding it. (Check out two-time Golden Heart winner Laurie Kellogg‘s words of wisdom on this subject here).

Remember, four of your five judges could LOVE your story, but one says “meh,” and you’re out of the finals. This is hardly a failure: in real life, having four of five readers loving your book would have you outselling Harry Potter.

And MOST published romance writers with brilliant, best-selling careers NEVER, EVER finaled in the Golden Heart at all. (Some, like Allison Brennan, even admit they tried—and failed. Yeah, that really hurt our Allison. I’m sure she still weeps over it every day.) The Golden Heart is a great launch pad—but it’s not the only one.

And just look at the list of 2017 Rita nominations. Lots of great books on there. But did you see Julia Quinn? Did you see Kristan Higgins? Eloisa James? Lisa Kleypas? Jill Shalvis? NORA freakin’ ROBERTS?

Does that mean their books this year sucked, and they should give up trying to be authors and toss their laptops out the window and take up a career in dry cleaning instead? Um, no. Of course not. Those writers and their books from last year are truly awesome. It’s just the way the voting goes sometimes.

Sing along with Gloria Gaynor: “I WILL SURVIVE!”

More than anything today, we’re here to kick your butt and say SUCK IT UP NOW, SWEETHEART, because there’s one way and one way only to have an awesome writing career! And it’s NOT the Golden Heart or RITA, or any other prize or commendation you may win. It’s BICHOK: butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

Get writing. Finish that next book. No excuses.

Do that, and you’ll get where you need to be. We’re the Rubies, and we know what we’re talking about!

Leave a comment below (as mopey or furious or self-pitying as you like, as long as you you know deep inside you’re gonna pick yourself up off that kitchen floor afterwards, splash some cold water on your face, and commit to a concrete writing goal to carry you forward). Also, you’ll be in the running for one of these spirit-lifting prizes, which we’ll be awarding to random commenters throughout the day (but let us know if you **DON’T** have an address in the U.S., since some of the physical prizes are U.S. only…if we draw your name, we’ll make sure you get one of the internationally-available prizes):

Pretty sweet, eh? Remember, we love you! Keep working, and you’re going to make it!!! We’re always here to help!

Welcome 2017 Golden Heart and RITA Finalists!!!

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Livestreaming RITA and Golden Heart Announcement Day!!

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Falling In Love With The Bad Boy, Is It Wrong?

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New at Harlequin: Two Single-Title Imprints and an Erotic Series

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Women’s History Month

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I’m a firm believer that you should never stop learning. On my last day walking this earth, I intend to learn something about this world, or the world I’m about to enter, or myself. I wince when I hear people say they don’t need to know this or that. Why won’t you want to know […]

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Share a Snippet, ROUND THREE!!!!!

It’s Day 45 of the the 2017 Winter Writing Festival, and we’re heading into the final last-push weekend!!! (Closing Ceremonies and our final Check-In happen on Tuesday!) I KNOW so many wonderful, intrepid, creative souls have been hard at work in the Chat Room Sprints and in your own personal writing caves writing amazing, moving, hilarious, […]

Write On 2017! – Time Management

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Tips For Writing Faster

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The Words I Can’t Stop Saying

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Coming Soon on the Blog

  • March 24, 2017
    Writing Books With Overlapping Timelines
  • March 27, 2017
    What I Learned From Michael Hauge
  • March 28, 2017
    Release Party for Lara Archer’s HOLD ME CLOSE!
  • March 31, 2017
    Stranger Than Fiction

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