One of the first things I did when I realized that I wanted to become a writer was join Romance Writers of America. I have never spent a better seventy-five dollars. I learned how to write a query letter, where to find an agent, and what to expect should I ever get a book published. But the one thing I never expected my membership to include was wonderful friends. I couldn't imagine that I would make friends all over the country that would become such an important part of my life. For this reason, RWA holds a special place in my heart.
(Me & Tera. We had only met about four days before this picture was taken but I felt like I had known her forever!)
For those of you not familiar with RWA, they have a giant conference in a different city every July. The conference is filled with informative workshops and networking opportunities. There is a giant book signing and parties galore! The last night of the conference is a special ceremony. Everyone gets all dolled up(it's sort of like the Oscars for romance writers). There is always a celebrity writer emcee who dazzles the audience with their wit in between the announcements of the Golden Heart and Rita winners. The Golden Heart is the RWA's unpublished members contest. The winners get a lovely necklace as a prize. I was lucky enough to see our own Heather Davis win the GH in 2006! The Rita is for published members and it is really awesome looking gold trophy.
(Here Heather is after her win with fellow YA author Jen Echols)
Every January, either unpublished manuscripts or books are mailed out to RWA members who judge them. Toward the end of March, everyone is holding their breath to receive a phone call saying that they are a Golden Heart or Rita finalist. Aspiring and published authors are burning up the loops the day the calls start going out to see who has been chosen. It's so exciting. Not only do I love seeing who made it in the category that I've entered but also in the category I judged. Rita finalists get these awesome pins to put on their name tags so that all through conference people can ogle them and drool in jealousy!
So why am I explaining all this and why should you really care? Because two of the Buzz Girls are Rita Finalists! You should also know that there were only three finalists chosen in the young adult category. So that means that there is a 66 2/3% that the winner will be a Buzz Girl!!! So, without further ado, I am so happy to announce that Tina Ferraro and Tera Lynn Childs are both finalists!
The adorable Tina Ferraro and her Rita-nominated book, How to Hook a Hottie.
And the gorgeous Tera Lynn Childs and her Rita-nominated book, OH. MY. GODS.
I should also mention that Tera is actually a DOUBLE Rita Finalist because she also finaled in the category for Best First Book. She will have two pins on her name tag and you may actually see people bow down in front of her. I'm totally not kidding!
If you still don't get what all the fuss is about, you obviously haven't read these books. So do yourself a favor and run to the bookstore to get them. And if you are going to be in Washington D.C. for RWA Nationals make sure you cheer super loud for both of these incredibly talented writers. Congrats Tina & Tera. We are so proud of you!