I know, I haven't blogged in forever. What have I been saying about the editing fairy?!
But I just this minute finished the first "pass" of what we shall now call Princess Under Stone, so I shall blog about my weekend.
First off: I totally killed with my keynote address at LDS Storymakers. At first people were kind of staring at me, because it had been a long day. They'd been bombarded with publishing advice, many of them had just met with an editor and/or agent about their books, and they were feeling dragged through the wringer just a bit. (Or so I was later told by several people.) But once I got going, and confessed that I could not read my own handwriting and so was having trouble with my notes, I think things went well. By the end I was getting laughs (in the funny places), and was asked, "Are you like this all time?" (In a good way.)
And then came Saturday, and the Whitney Awards.
The Whitney Awards are a new award for LDS (Mormon) authors. There's never really been something like this before. They had nominees in categories from Best Romance to Novel of the Year, and they announced them at the gala, after a wonderful dinner. It was like the Oscars: we were all dressed up, the Best Novel nominees read from their books, there were Lifetime Achievement tributes. Really, very cool.
Also, I got to wear a sparkly top! And lots of jewelry!
I borrowed from my sister one of the greatest ensembles EVER. A fitted, short-sleeved black top beaded with green and blue sequins, some of which were shaped like stars, and others like SHAMROCKS! I had a big, poofy back taffeta skirt, and really tall heels, and found a jeweled barrette shaped like a crown for my hair. I had big dangly emerald earrings, and my mom gave me a bracelet with a shamrock charm. (It sounds like a bit much, but really it all worked, I swear.)
I was nominated in three categories: Best Speculative Fiction (along with Shannon Hale for Book of a Thousand Days and Brandon Sanderson for Mistborn: Well of Ascension), Best Novel by a New Author, and Novel of the Year.
Drumroll, please: I won Best Novel by a New Author! YAY!
And I got to present the award for Best Mystery/Thriller. Sanderson was my co-presenter, and we thought it would be hilarious to rib the MC for the bad joke we had to tell when we announced the nominees, and later we found out that this sweet woman named Kerry Blair had written the joke. Oops!
But Josi Kilpack won for her book Sheep's Clothing. Josi was at my table, which turned out to be the luckiest table, with me, Josi, and Brandon Mull all getting awards. Mull won for Fablehaven 2 as Best Children's Book. He was sitting by my husband, and was really a hoot. The stork (not to be confused with the editing fairy), had just visited the Mulls, so Brandon brought his brother as his date, and watching them both freak out every time someone took a picture of them was hilarious. ("We're together, but like, because we're brothers! Not 'together-together'!")
Shannon won for Book of a Thousand Days as best Speculative, by the way, and her acceptance speech was awesome. She said that people who are jealous because they didn't win, rather than be happy for the winner, are going to hell (I'm paraphrasing). It became the catchphrase of the evening, "I'm going to hell!" When I won, I said, "Yay, I'm not going to hell for this one!"
But it was a great evening, and I'm excited for next year. This was the first year, and I think it will just continue to be bigger and better. And how cool is it that I got to be involved with the very first year?!
In other news:
I'm reading Inkheart (I know, I'm a bit behind) and loving it.
I just found out that Robin McKinley is having a new book out in September, called Chalice. Pre-order it today!
And I'm going to have my webmaster/husband put some updates on the "Meet Jessica" page: in May I'm going to be all over town!