It makes me happy to make a sale, and it gives me some outside validation, which a writer needs now and then. Face it, we sit alone in a room and make stuff up. Weeks - or months, or years - later, it appears in print, and you occasionally get feedback from a reader. But for the most part, you work completely alone, and a writer is most definitely NOT the best judge of her own work. In fact, you're usually the worst judge of your work. Which makes outside validation a very nice thing, indeed.
Which brings me to the other thing that made me happy recently. Just yesterday, in fact. This spring, I was a preliminary judge for the Rita, the RWA award for romance fiction. I received a box of several books, in a variety of categories, which I read and scored.
Among those books was ADIOS TO MY OLD LIFE, by Barbara Ferrer, writing as Caridad Ferrer, from MTV Books. I was planning to buy the book, so it was a nice surprise in my box. What's more, while I thought I'd like it, it made me happy to find that I LOVED it. Fast forward to the announcements of the finalists, and there's ADIOS, on the short list as Best Contemporary Single Title! That made me very happy.
Now, my happy feelings came from knowing that other people shared my opinion of ADIOS, a form of outside validation; the reassurance that I understood what made a "good" book.
The best part, though, came with the announcement, last night, of this year's Rita winners. And (if you haven't guessed by now) ADIOS won the Rita! It made me happy to know that my opinion was validated, but that wasn't the most important thing. For me, the best part was knowing that a book I loved, a writer whose work I admired, and who I felt truly deserved the recognition, got the award.
And if you haven't read this book yet, go get it. Now!
Congratulations, Barbara!! A well-deserved award, and a fabulous book. I'll be looking for your next one.