Friends! Did y’all see this?!
Operation Lionhearted is a 2022 Realm Awards finalist!!! IN TWO CATEGORIES!!!!! I’m still in a state of disbelief. When I entered my novel in the Awards back in January, I just thought, “Well, it’s worth a shot.” I didn’t pin any hopes on it; in fact, I almost forgot about it! But when I saw my book baby on that list of finalists last week, I squealed and laughed and tried to catch my breath for at least an hour, haha!
Finalists and the Book of the Year winner will be announced at the Realm Awards Ceremony on July 22, 2022. Again, I’m not pinning my hopes on winning Book of the Year (though that would be awesome), but simply being able to say that Operation Lionhearted is a 2022 Realm Awards Finalist is more than enough excitement for me!
In other bookish news, I got to speak at a local book club a couple of weeks ago. I went into it a little nervous, though the fact that several friends (including my future mother-in-law!) were there really calmed my nerves. We met at a local, favorite restaurant, and while we waited for our meal, the ladies asked me to stand at the end of the table and talk about my book.
Where to begin? I thought as I made my way to my spot. The answer, thank goodness, was a fairly easy one: Just start the very beginning. So I told the story of how I got the idea…how I was in an emotionally low place at the time, and how the question, “What if I just wrote whatever I wanted to write?” sparked the mental image of a classy super-spy and her spunky grandmother.
From there, the discussion was so easy and fun. The ladies of the book club were kind and attentive and asked many good questions about the characters, the genre, and the writing process. I’m used to my peers enjoying science fiction, but getting to talk with women older than myself who also enjoy it (or, in some cases, who downright love it!) was a blast.
The past eight months have been a whirlwind. When I published my book in October, I never dreamed that, by summer, I’d be engaged and running a small but flourishing business! Life has been wonderful, but amid all the busy-ness, Operation Lionhearted has taken an unavoidable back seat. Speaking at the book club and then getting the news about the Realm Awards really boosted my morale as a storyteller, and I’m really, really thankful for both opportunities!