I can’t believe we are fast approaching the Nationals. Only 15 more days to go before I hop on a plane and finally get to meet my Rebelle sisters in person! What with moving house, end of the school term, and all the other balls that get juggled during regular family life, I’m looking forward to letting my writer side out to play! Today’s guest is another Paranormal sister, Janet Halpin. Take it away, Janet! ❤
Thanks, Alice for having me here, and for giving all of us Rebelles a chance to crow! Now it’s my turn to ’fess up on what it means to be a Golden Heart contest finalist
Well, first it means I’m giddy, and glad, gleeful, grateful, giggly, gurgling, and all kinds of other adjectives starting with ‘G.’ How could I not be with all the exciting things planned at the RWA conference in Orlando, receptions and photos and meet-and-greets and the luncheon ceremony. It also means desperately trying to find something besides sweatpants to wear to all the receptions and photos and etc., etc. Meaning, shopping, something I loathe. But it also means doing something I love, spending time with my sister, bargain-hunter extraordinaire.
Being a Golden Heart finalist means the end of a particularly long journey. My finalling manuscript, BERYL BLUE, TIME COP, took 5 or so years to write, and even then it was still pretty messy when finished. That meant sending my manuscript to my critique partners and beta readers, and entering a bunch of RWA chapter contests, looking for feedback from people who don’t know me, who read in the paranormal genre, and who would give me their honest opinion. It was a great experience, despite a few blips of negativity from what I call “bad judges” (I mean, an 8-page thesis on what’s wrong with my 15-page first-meet entry? Really?).
Being a finalist also means, yeah, I’m good enough. I’m totally one of those people who lets perfect be the enemy of the good, never satisfied with my work, never thinking it is good enough. I tinkered with Beryl, polishing, re-polishing, and polishing some more each time I entered a contest. Though Beryl’s trip on the contest circuit racked up finals and wins and requests for partials and fulls from editors and agents, I STILL didn’t think my manuscript was Golden Heart material. It was only after signing with an agent who loves Beryl and her hunky redheaded hero as much as I do that I had the confidence to enter RWA’s top contest.
So now, here I am. A Golden Heart finalist. It seems fitting the first contest I ever entered was the Golden Rose (Beryl placed 2nd), and now I’m standing at the top of the (unpub) contest mountain. I hope I win, but it won’t bother me too much if I don’t. I’m just thrilled to be here at the summit with all of you, my lovely and talented Rebelles sisters, the Golden Heart class of 2017. And that means a lot.
Meet Janet Halpin–kidder, complainer, tea-drinker, mom, reader, teller of hilarious and sometimes totally true tales, sock-folder, and author. Inspired by the genre fiction that enthralled her as a kid, Janet writes YA, mystery, light Sci-Fi, and WWII-set paranormal and time travel, all with a dash of humor and romance. Janet lives in New England with her husband, two sons, a hyper Border Collie and a gigantic Maine coon cat with a terrible disposition.