After three years I was finally able to attend the Chanticleer International Book Awards!! As always, the conference didn't disappoint. There were so many great classes and so much to learn. Kiffer Brown and her team did an amazing job putting the conference together and making everything go smoothly.
This year was a lot of firsts for me. It was my first time sitting on a panel to talk about genre boundaries. My first time standing on a stage and talking into a microphone. I got to announce the winners of the Shorts: Collections and Novellas. It was all worth fighting my natural panic of being the main focus and talking in front of people. Hopefully I can do it again some time.
When awards time came, it was great to hear the name of friends announced as First in Category for their genre. The atmosphere was so uplifting and the cheers all over the room was thrilling.
Guarded Hearts got First in Category for the Laramie and I was on cloud 9. I was so happy for my fellow Laramie winners; all are great people. Many of my fellow Laramie winners couldn't attend. I was excited to send messages about their win to them.
It was a big surprise when Guarded Hearts was announced for the Laramie Grand Prize. I wasn't expecting it, so I had no speech prepared and have no idea what I said. But it was an amazing experience and I'm still in shock over it.