Christmas came in May this year for those of us in the Bethlehem Writers Group. We found out just a few days ago that our book, A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales, placed first in TWO categories at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Apparently we won in both the "short fiction" category, and the "anthology" category. Of course, I am thrilled.
My joy comes on a variety of levels. It's wonderful to have the honor of recognition from others in the publishing industry. It's exhilarating to know our book won in two categories, because it rules out the possibility that a single award is a fluke. And, on a less mature level, it's really nifty we will be able to put shiny stickers on our books next Christmas season!
Yes, stickers! And we will be able to display our two gold medals at book signings! My excitement this past week has vacillated between pleasure at the recognition of our writing, and goofy sticker glee. I know it's silly, but the life of a writer has few such delightful moments-- and the ones we do get, we end up editing later.
In addition to the stickers and medals, our book will be featured in a catalog at BookExpo America, an enormous conference of all sorts of publishing industry professionals, which will take place later this May. Also we and the winners of the other 58 categories, are invited to a cocktail reception in NYC during BEA.
Which brings up an interesting question.
What does one war to such a reception? You may laugh, but my coauthors and I have had a very serious discussion on just this topic. I mean, I hear "cocktail" and think of little black dresses. I hear "reception" and I think business casual. Then, I consider the business of writing and realize my "business" dress is usually jeans and a comfortable shirt. Would my "business casual," then, be my comfiest pajamas?
Okay, I'm ruling out the pajamas... this is New York City, after all.
Obviously, this is one of those situations where being an author differs from day to day reality of being a writer. Still, it's probably good for us authors to get out of our houses, leave our computers behind, and rub elbows with people in the outside world-- even if the people we meet are blinking in confusion after having emerged from their writer-lives to rub elbows with us.