This past weekend, March 13-15, was the EPIcon conference where the announcement of the EPIC Awards winners took place. I waited in San Antonio, on pins and needles, for the whole weekend, to hear if I was a winner. Before we left for the EPICion conference, my editor Debby Gilbert sent me a copy of the half page ad below, which was in the conference brochure, featuring my book The Nun and the Narc, an action/adventure romance finalist, and To Dance in Liradon, a young adult finalist by fellow Soul Mate Publishing Author Adrienne Clark. I emailed my congratulations to Adrienne when I discovered she was also a finalist, and I rooted for here when they announced her category, as well as for Soul Mate cover artist Rae Monet who was a finalist in the Ariana cover art contest.

SMP Center Ad  Eppie

Isn’t it a lovely ad?

I brought home my copy of the conference booklet and the Awards Banquet program, which I will proudly frame and hang next to my other finalist awards for The Nun and the Narc and my other books that have placed in contests. The banquet program will not be displayed alongside my EPIC award, however, because I didn’t win. Nor did any of my fellow Soul Maties who were also up for awards.

Every table at the conference had at least one winner. Two of the four finalists at my dinner table won, one in the Inspirational category and the other in the Paranormal category. I’d made friends with one of them during dinner, and afterwards I got to touch her lovely award.

Despite not being the winner, I just wanted to say it’s been a privilege to be part of this prestigious contest.  Thanks to my wonderful editor Debbie Gilbert for taking  chance on a book other editors didn’t know what to do with; to cover artist Rae Monet  for doing such a great job on my cover; to my wonderful critique partners who helped me hone my craft and this book, especially Paulette who suggested the heroine be changed to a novice; to all the readers who have purchased the book, loved it, and given me such great reviews; and to my husband who has always believed in me and given me the freedom to follow my dream.

Writing a book is a great accomplishment. Lots of people say they want to write a book—someday—but many never take the necessary steps begin the journey on the road to publication. I urge all the wanna be writers out there to take that first step. Finish your book, but realize that’s not the end of the road, but the beginning. Cherish every step of your journey, and don’t forget to celebrate every success, the big ones as well as the little ones. You may never achieve New York Times Best Seller status or win a single contest you enter, but you will always be a writer. And that’s more than a whole lot of people have ever achieved.

Congratulations to all the winners and the finalists, and thanks to all the judges who took time from busy schedules to read all the entries.

Where are you in your journey as a writer?