Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Holy poop - I'm a RITA winner!

by Laura Drake

This stuff does NOT happen to me. Seriously. I keep thinking that this is the BEST kind of dream, and I'm going to wake up. I find myself staring at 'The Lady' like she's going to disappear.

The Sweet Spot double finaled - but I knew with a crowded field (including huge names like Jill Shalvis and Nora) that I had no shot. I had such an incredible conference, that I thought it would be greedy to want to win, too. I was living on adrenaline all week, and the Best First Book was the very last category. I was zoned out, seeing my headshot and my book on the jumbo screen when Nora (yes, THE Nora) announced the winner. I screamed, my agent, Nalini, screamed and hugged me. I screamed more, and she told me I had to 'get up there'. Oh, yeah.

Shaking, dreading a wardrobe malfunction, I walked to the stage. Some friends of mine who know me were discussing in the bar the night before, how I was likely to trip on my dress, fall, and knock my front teeth out (they know me well). So I took my time, and made it up the stairs without mishap.

They handed me the statue - damn, she's heavy! (6.2 lbs - not like I weighed it or anything) Then I walked to the podium, where NORA HUGGED ME!!!  I pulled my index card out of my cleavage and everyone laughed. Hey, the dress was pocket-challenged . . . where was I supposed to keep it?!

I stumbled through my speech with only a couple of notable screw-ups. Not bad, considering I was breathing like a buffalo!

I'm so incredibly grateful, to RWA, as well as all the people who've congratulated me, many of whom I didn't even know.

Here's a link to my amazing, spastic moment in the spotlight.

Now I'm home, and 'The Lady' has a place of honor. 
Cinderella has returned to cinders. I'm doing laundry and cleaning kitty litter. Sigh.

All I can do now is try to 'pay it forward' by encouraging others.

Oh yeah, and try to write a better book.


  1. Goodness, Laura! That speech made me tear up at the end. Thanks for being an inspiration, and congrats again!

  2. Congratulations. So happy for you.

  3. Congrats to you, Laura! I loved hearing your moment by moment take! Enjoy your win!

  4. Your account in your words gave me goose bumps. So happy for you. I keep saying it and I'll say it over and over, The Sweet Spot was my best book of 2013. I love that book! Congratulations.

  5. Laura,
    I was there and you were beautiful and brilliant and gracious and articulate! CONGRATULATIONS! So happy for you!! xoMaggie

  6. What a fabulous speech, Laura!! I loved getting to watch the video and see you hug Nora and accept the beautiful golden lady ;). Congrats, again!!

  7. Love the book, love you, so glad I got to hug you afterwards!!!

  8. Laura,
    What fabulous news! So happy for you.