Thursday, January 08, 2009

Award nominations ~ what are they about?

Last night, I got an impersonal email from The Romance Studio informing me that one of my books was a CAPA nominee. They didn't mention the title of the work in their email; I had to go to the TRS site, find the CAPA page, then scroll down the long, long list of nominees and search for one of my titles. Damned if I knew what book they were referring to, because TRS hardly ever reviews my stuff.

There it was, near the bottom of the page in the "Psyche" category: Cheer Givers & Mischief Makers. Huh? This Quickie was first published two years ago, as part of the "Valentine Vixens" series for Ellora's Cave. Truth be told, I'd pretty much forgotten about it. But because TRS didn't review the story until May of 2008, it apparently was eligible for a Psyche award this year. I was flabbergasted . . . and not in a particularly good way.

There are probably fifty titles, give or take, in the Psyche Award category. It's a big ol' catch-all stewpot of romance fiction, from shorts to full novels to anthologies to at least one series, in every imaginable subgenre, by big names and no-names. A HUGE ol' stewpot.

It took me a while to figure out what these disparate works had in common. Twenty minutes later, light dawned. They all received five stars from TRS reviewers but were actually published long before they were reviewed. So, rather than put them in the running for Da Major Award (which is only for books published and reviewed in the past year), they were all dumped into Da Minor Award category. Together.

So I'm looking at the nominees. And I'm thinking, WTF? There's no division here. My fluffy little Quickie is up against the likes of Shiloh Walker and the freakin' Adrien English mystery series! Okay, let me go smoke something until this makes sense.

If Valentine's Day weren't right around the corner, I would've been too ashamed to post an excerpt at TRS, which I was requested to do. Even with Valentine's Day coming, I balked at the thought. CGMM is an enjoyable bit of smut based on an original concept but hardly my best work. Were it up against other enjoyable bits of smut, I wouldn't care. I'd even pimp my bit of smut. Hell, I'd root for my bit of smut!

But this contest? This is just plain humiliating.

I would've been more than content with, and grateful for, that very nice review.

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