Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Magic of Awards

Welcome, Title Magicians. Welcome, one and all. Anna Campbell has graciously returned to blog with us once again. This 'lady' and author is on a terrific roll, a magic carpet ride of awards and recognition. Of course, what is most important is how much readers adore her novels, the enchanted play of her pen or her fingers on the keyboard.

It’s Awards Season Again!
By Anna Campbell

The first quarter of every year seems to be chockablock full of awards for movies, books, music, TV shows, etc, etc. It makes sense, I suppose – when else would you pick the best of 2007 except at the start of 2008? Of course, there’s the biggies like the Oscars and the Golden Globes – sadly, a bit of a fizzer this year. Then there’s a myriad of popular vote and reviewers and peer choice awards. A girl could get confused by all the glitter!
Recently I was lucky enough to win a couple of awards in Michelle Buonfiglio’s Lifetime TV Romance: B(u)y the Book Hottest Romance Books of 2007.
To my delight, my first book CLAIMING THE COURTESAN was chosen not only as best debut of last year but also as book of the year. Happy dancing and squeals of excitement down in Australia, as you can imagine. When Savanna congratulated me and invited me onto Title Magic to talk about the award, I jumped at the chance. Great to see you again, Title Magicians! Thanks for having me back!
Romancelandia is brimming with awards. There’s the big daddy of them all, the RITA which Romance Writers of America present at their conference. Although it seems rather odd to call Rita a Daddy! There’s the RWA Golden Heart, the most prestigious prize for an unpublished romance writer and often a major step towards a publishing contract. Many review sites run readers or reviewers choice awards – All About Romance’s annual reader poll - springs to mind.
Romantic Times have their annual Reviewers Choice Awards (would it sound like boasting if I said the CLAIMING THE COURTESAN has been nominated as Best First Historical there? It’s lovely knowing my debut book has been singled out like this!). RT announce these at a gala event during their convention which sadly, because I live so far away, I won’t be able to attend. Sigh.
RT’s American Title Awards have become a fixture on the calendar and offer the ultimate prize of a publishing contract, not to mention priceless experience in promotion. Of course, the Title Magic girls know more than anyone else about AT as their entries were chosen as the best of the best in the fourth contest. Congratulations again! I know it sounds banal, but really you’re all winners.
So do awards have any influence on whether you’ll buy a book or not? What’s your favorite award show (I’ve got to say I love the Golden Globes!)? And if you won an Oscar, who would you thank?
And the award goes to…
P.S. As one of the finalists I have it on the best witchy authority, the American Title IV winner is hard at work helping to create her cover art. Hopefully she'll share with us as soon as possible. Blowing award kisses...Savanna


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

"I'd like to thank the Academy..." Oh, yeah, no red carpet, sorry. :> Great post Anna! I'm swinging over from from the Bandit lair to say hello and say how fun it is to see you out and about.

And now to your question...Who would I thank? My family, my Romance Bandit Pals, RWA, whoever starred in and directed the movie...the usual suspects. Grins.

What about you, Anna, who would YOU thank?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Forgot to answer the OTHER questions...yes an award DOES influence a buy for me, but only if the first ten pages intrigue me as well. It definitly influences a "pick up and read the back" decision, does that help?

My Fav awards are the Oscars and the Nickelodeon awards. Oscars for the obvious reasons, Nick awards because there's usually slime and a lot of laughs.

Christie Kelley said...

Anna, congrats again on the awards!! All the banditas are so proud of your accomplishments.

Who would I thank? My husband and kids for putting up with my writing mood swings. The Naughty French Tarts (aka, the tarts) my fabulous critique group. And of course, the Romance Bandits for all their support.

Trish Milburn said...

Hola, Bandita! Good to see you here again, Anna.

I have to say I love the Oscars. I didn't get to see much of them this year, but I wasn't too invested in the movies up for awards this year. I liked the moment when Jon Stewart brought the young songwriter back out on stage to give the speech she hadn't been able to before the break. And it was so sad, all over again, to see Heath Ledger's picture at the end of the In Memoriam section.

I love the RITA and GH awards ceremony. It's like OUR Oscar ceremony.

Kim Howe said...

Hi ATIV folks and Anna!

First of all, congrats to all of you for being chosen as the top ten in ATIV. I was lucky enough to make the top two in ATIII and really enjoyed the wild ride!

Anna, great post. You must stay up all night Down Under!

I would have to be kicked off the stage as I have so many people to thank. I truly believe it takes a village to write a novel!

Warm regards,


Cassondra said...

Hey there Anna!

Waving from the Bandit lair!

Are you fully recovered from your jaunt to the...ahem...WRITING RETREAT? Yes friends, our dear Anna just got back from a working writing retreat...Rumor has it that she got LOTs done...though not necessarily writing. (grin) Y'all will have to ask her about her "working trip." (evil grin)

Lessee...I'd thank my husband, a few individuals who have made a significant difference and encouraged me in my writing, the Romance Bandits and that'd be it. I hate the long speeches. I'd try to get up there and outa there so I could stare at my trophy. (grin)

Anna huge congratulations on all the hoopla over Claiming the Courtesan. It's on my "best ever" shelf, along with Untouched. And I'll tell you, that's not a big shelf. I LOVE to read romance, but only a few do that special thing for me that makes me want to read them over and over and try to figure out "how did the author DO that?"

All recognition is well deserved for either of these two amazing books!

Lexie O'Neill said...

Dear Anna,
Congratulations on the Award and Thank you for being a repeat blogger with us!
I'm scared to even think about who I would thank before I've even got a solid bite at a contract. What a paranormal writer, superstitious?
Thanks again,

Aunty Cindy said...

Another Bandita swinging by! Great post, as always, Fo! When DO you sleep, woman? You are always popping up somewhere in cyberspace.

The Oscars are always my favorite awards show because I LOVE to see the dresses and hair-dos on the women. Gotta wonder sometimes, did they LOOK at a mirror before they arrived at the red carpet?

As for thank-you speeches, I'm with Kim. They'd have to DRAG me off stage (no easy feat) I have so many people I'd like to mention. Maybe I should just let Anna give my acceptance speech. She's really really good at it! ;-)


Helen Scott Taylor said...

Anna, congratulations on all the awards and nominations for Claiming The Courtisan. Must feel like the icing on the cake!

I don't tend to watch award ceremonies on TV as I'm usually too busy. But I am interested in the results. I loved the Rita and Golden Heart ceremony I attended last year. Must be wonderful to be a finalist.

I certainly take note of books that win awards. In fact, I went out and bought a number of the Rita winning books from last year and they didn't dissapoint.

jo robertson said...

Hiya Jeanne! Goodness, that's a good question. My colleagues, obviously, and my parents who gave me the opportunities to do these things. Definitely my friends! Including, of course, those rowdy Banditas!

Christie, lovely to see you here! Thanks for those lovely words! Clearly the Banditas are on the role of honor!

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Trish! I was wondering if you'd be home when I called in. Thanks so much for having me as a guest. Actually, I'm going to print out Savanna's intro. I'm not quite sure she's talking about me! ;-) I must say I USED to love the Oscars but I haven't watched it for the last two years. Too much hoopla which seems crazy when you talk about an awards show. You WANT hoopla, right? But the last year I actually sad down to watch the whole thing, we were an hour and a half in and they'd given away ONE freakin' award! Sheesh! At that rate, I'd still be watching the broadcast. Love hearing who won, though.

Anna Campbell said...

That Bandita Jo Robertson is everywhere - even in comments I make! The reply to Jeanne two comments up from this one was me!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, KJ, congratulations again on your success in ATIII! The Banditas seem to have booked a slot in this contest, don't they? I love the idea that it takes a village to write a novel - as long as they're quiet, make me lots of cups of tea and then GO AWAY!!!! Yes, I'm horribly unsociable when I'm writing ;-)

Cassondra, I don't know who you could possibly be talking about! I wrote and wrote and wrote. Oh, no, sorry, that was a typo. I ate and ate and ate! And spent a lot of time talking writing which I figure will feed (aaaaah, that word again!) into my creativity. Well, that's the theory anyway!

And thank you so much, my friend, for that wonderful plug for both my books. You know, I've kept the emails you wrote me after you read them. They're in my treasure file!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Congratulations on the awards! And thank you for stopping by to talk to us again. :)

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Lexie! Thanks for the congratulations - luckily I didn't have to make a speech! I 100% agree with you on not tempting fate. Perhaps I should look at writing paranormals too!

Hi Aunty Cindy! Goodness, it's a Bandita invasion! I'm only good at giving speeches when I accept awards for other people - in Atlanta, I accepted the fabulously talented Christine Wells's Golden Heart for what turned out to be her debut book Scandal's Daughter. Perhaps I could hire myself out!

Hi Helen! And congratulations on being one of the last two standing in ATIV! I remember being absolutely blown away the first RITA award ceremony I went to - the one in Atlanta where I had to collect Christine's gong. It WAS like the Oscars except unlike the last few years with the Oscars where I haven't seen the films, I actually had read a lot of the books.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Anitra! Thanks for asking me back - I was really touched when Savanna got in touch and asked me to visit again. You guys are great! The Banditas got together through an award, the Golden Heart in 2006 - clearly there's good karma in that!

Tawny said...

Congrats on the awesome successes with Claiming the Courtesan, Anna! Well deserved, for sure!

I love awards and love imagining myself in the fancy dress at the ceremony giving thanks to all the special people in my life. I just wish I could turn those imagings into reality LOL.

I can't say as winning an award influences me to buy a book, any more than a review does. I tend to buy on blurb or recommendation. The rest is icing on the cake, but the cake has to rock to start with, ya know?

Anna Campbell said...

Tawny, what words of wisdom you speak. Actually, I do pay attention to awards, especially things like the RITA or the Golden Heart. And I can certainly imagine you looking all glam and fabulous accepting an award, my friend!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Anna, popping over from the Bandit Lair to say hi. Great post!

I love awards, all kinds of them, because they are tangible symbols of our achievements, don't you think?

I buy my "high-brow" books based on awards like the Pen-Faulkner, Pulitzer, Nobel, and my entertainment fiction based on my friends' recommendations. They know what I like!

Hmmm, if I ever won a book award, I'd definitely thank my daughters because they're my first readers and my target audience. Plus, they're cool people!

Savanna Kougar said...

Anna, late to the awards party. So excited to be here now. Oh, that necessary shopping thing! I definitely check out the award-winning books. But, it has to sell me after I pick it up. What the story is about, other than romance, of course. And the writing style of the author.
Luv award ceremonies when it's for a friend. The Oscars have become too extreme for my taste, recently. But, oh, I used to euphoria-tingle over the gowns and the glam.
Hello and welcome to all the Banditas.
Anna, you need a boost, an e-mail hug when you're slogging over that next fantabulous story -- yep, I'll remind you how wonderful you are.

Christine Wells said...

I'm late, but just wanted to say congratulations on your awards, Anna and I expect many more to come!

I don't think awards have ever influenced me to buy because usually I've heard the buzz about how great a book is before it's won and I've already made a decision on whether to buy it. I think I did buy a few books because they won the Golden Heart, but it was more to see the standard I was aspiring to than because the GH was a recommendation. I mostly buy a book from a new author because of buzz and I like the premise and I've usually read the first page or two and liked the writing. Tough to please, aren't I?

jo robertson said...

Uh, yeah, who's using my nom de plume? You know, Anna, I knew IMMEDIATELY that it was you. I could tell your writing voice, just in that little blurb LOL.

I forgot to say congrats on the awards. As you know I loved both CLAIMING THE COURTESAN and UNTOUCHED and have a constant debate on which is the better book and who are the better heroes and heroines.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I love the idea of you thanking your daughters. As you say, they're the inspiration! And I think the people who put up with the weird ways of writers deserve all the thanks they can get!

Hey, Savanna, thanks again for inviting me to blog here today. I always have a great time at Title Magic. And you're on for the rah rah email! I agree - the award might get me interested in a book but it's the story that will do it for me in the end. Strangely, I never read the first page like a lot of people do but the cover and the blurb and sometimes the cover quote will make me pick up a book if I haven't heard of it. Mind you, these days, with the internet, I've heard of most things before they come out! So really I'm going on word of mouth and general buzz when I buy. Although like most people, I have a list of auto-buy authors who could write the phonebook and I'd shell out hard earned cash for it.

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, I think in this day and age when there are so many books and readers are limited with both cash and time (not to mention attention), it's perfectly reasonable to find out as much as you can before you shell out your money. Thanks for your comment!

Oooh, Jo, I hope Tempt the Devil, my next one, makes you even more confused ;-) I don't mind people fighting over which of my books they like best. Gives me a nice gloating glow in my tum! ;-) Thanks for the congrats! How odd that you picked up my voice - I think I can tell most of the Banditas actually. It's like when your best friend rings up and says 'hi' - you know immediately who's on the other end of the line.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hey, Anna! Congrats on your winning season! You deserve every accolade!

I do love me some Oscar night glitz. I would love to have the time to watch more of them, but I have little ones & my TV time is limited as a result. So I pace myself. I watch Lost, The Office & the Oscars. :-) And rarely when they're actually on. The day after the Oscars I walked around with blinders on, saying lalalalalalala so nobody would spoil the surprise before I got on the tread mill & watched what I'd taped the night before. :-)

As for book buying, however, I read romance based almost solely on word of mouth. I ask people what they read recently that they loved & buy that. As for all other books, my husband is one of those devotees of "Best (fill in the blank) of the Year" lists. He scours the lists, determines the years most buzzed about books then snaps them all up in January. He reads them throughout the year, & the ones he deems worthy of chatting about he plops on my nightstand. It's lovely, & one of the many reasons I married him. :-)

Nancy said...

Hi, Anna--

Congratulations on the success of Claiming the Courtesan! It's an auspicious debut.

My favorite awards show is the Oscars. I'm a sucker for the glitzy clothes and the red carpet and the sometimes-schlocky montages.

Who would I thank? Hmm, the family, the banditas, and everybody else who contributed anything positive. I'm with Kim--I'd be dragged off the stage, still talking, while the "sit down now" music played louder and louder!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Anna! Yet another Bandita sneaking over from the Lair to offer best wishes and congratulations for all the awards and nominations you've stacked up!! You're my idol!! You so deserve every good thing that comes your way because your stories and characters are so rich and wonderful--and so are you. ;-)

And hi, all you Title Magicians! Another American Title alum here. Win or lose, you're all winners in terms of all that fabulous publicity you've received and the friendships you've made. Those things will continue to reap rewards for a long time to come!

And I always buy the American Title-winning book! :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Susan, I love your story about your husband and the books. Definitely he's one for the keeper shelf ;-)

Laughed at the idea of you being carried off from the Oscar stage, kicking and screaming, Nancy. Actually I love the montages too. I love, although it's sad, the list of people who have passed away during the year and the tributes to the great. Sadly, that's often the stuff they cut from our broadcasts here as they're delayed telecasts and they pick the things they THINK people will like.

Kate, you were fabulous in AT!!! I voted for you! Thanks for those lovely words and thanks for popping over to say hello. It really is a Bandita invasion, isn't it?

jo robertson said...

I agree with the sadness of showing the people who passed away this year at the Oscars, Anna. The tribute to Heath Ledger was particularly poignant, I thought.

Occasionally, they have the multiple award winners line up on stage and that's pretty impressive!

I agree that the Banditas seem to have very distinctive voices. And their writing voices are not always the tone of their funning around voices LOL, if that makes sense.

Yes, TTD will only add to my dilemma. Can ya'll tell I'm a total Anna Campbell fan?

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Jo, you're lovely!!!! Thank you.

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks for having me to visit, Title Magicians! And thanks especially to Savanna for inviting me back. It's been a blast. And Banditas, you did your invasion with your usual style! Go, the Banditas!