December 1st 2009. 3.30pm. One of the best moments of my life so far!
That was the moment when lovely Joanne Grant from Harlequin Mills & Boon called me to let me know i'd placed as runner up in the 2009 competition. I was totally shocked, and don't think i said anything coherent at all during the conversation. I was thoroughly flu-ed up and on anti-biotics, and I found myself wondering for a few minutes if i'd hallucinated the whole thing. :o) - like lots of others, i'd gone to sleep hoping and imagining that that phone call would come for weeks, and for it to actually happen was ...bonkers! Needless to say, Joanne was lovely, really excited and bubbly, and it was everything you hope the phone call will be.
Then a Congrats email pinged in from Lovely Joanne (new official name), so I felt safe enough to call my husband, my sister, my brother, my mum....and of course try to remember that i'd been asked to tell no-one until December 11th! I was at home with my two little boys (3&5), and we had ten minutes of crazily dancing around the living room,punching the air, whooping and clutching of cheeks in shock - bless kids, they just go with it don't they, no questions asked. Actually, since then, whenever I mention the competition, my eldest eyes me warily and mutters 'not the crazy dancing again mum'....
Fast forward to yesterday, announcement day. My husband sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and my friends and family were over the moon - it was such a relief to be able to tell them all! It was another big moment to see the announcement in black and white on iheartpresents, just so, so thrilling. I feel so, so, SO lucky! I'm still on cloud nine, i've never won anything in my life.
I'm hugely grateful to all at Mills & Boon for running the competition, it's been a massive experience to take part, and to place is the stuff that dreams are made of.
I'm also aware it's been a huge experience for 540 other women around the world, and I am crossing my fingers and hoping that they all get happy news too soon. I sweat blood and tears over my entry and have bitten my nails to the quick waiting for the results, and I know that every one else who entered did exactly the same. It's not an easy thing to throw your hat into the ring, so Congrats to every last one who entered and lots of luck.
The romance writing community has been a complete revelation to me. It's uniquely friendly & supportive to all, and I have to say a big thank you for the encouragement and advice i've been given over the last few months. Extra special thanks to Robyn, who held my hand and gave such wise advice - I am indebted.
Now I have to get on with the business of writing the rest of the book....eeep!