And the Winner for the Romance Category is…

“Tarrant Smith.”

I did a double take. “Who? I thought Georgiana Fields..”

“No she’s the finalist. You won.”


I stood. I was flustered and totally unprepared. I had come to the awards dinner last night under the assumption that my competition would win the category. I had come to the event prepared to congratulate her. And I was happy about it. She’s fabulous!

To make matters worse, I got emotional as I stepped on stage to accept the 2020 Independent Author of the Year Award in the category of romance. It was for my first book in the Legends of the Pales Series, The Love of Gods. To those that know me, none of this will come as a surprise. I’m usually wound pretty tight where events are concerned, book-related or not. Faced with friends and family who’d come to support me, I cried at my very first book signing. (Ugly cried. Red-faced, runny-nose, and fanning my face cried.) And when I read my work to the Madison Writers Group the first time, I had secretly fortified my courage with two large glasses of wine. (That first reading was awful BTW!)

As for last night’s event, I had consumed only a glass and a half of wine because I’d promised my husband that I would face the night relatively buzz-free. I did manage to recover and utter a coherent thank you as I hurried from the stage to keep from embarrassing myself any further. I do remember wishing I had had the foresight to invite my editor to the dinner. Not that she can edit me in real-time, but it might have helped.

I went to bed happy but exhausted last night.

Then, this morning I watched the video my husband had taken and the Live Feed Vickie had posted on the Southern Pen Bookshop Facebook page. Oh, boy! Basically, I am too busy critiquing what I looked like and how I sounded to bask in the glow of my achievement. Why didn’t I wear my hair up? And that dress! It makes my knees and legs look ugly. I should have worn the longer rose dress and a shorter heel. Do I look chunky? I sound way more Southern than I thought. Of course, none of my craziness matters to the people who love me.

Deep breaths.

Obviously, I have some self-image issues. Thank the gods I can write!

Why can’t we as humans, as women, and as writers just enjoy the good moments when they happen?

When I figure that out, I’ll let you know.


Author: TarrantSmith

I'm an old soul born at a young age, and a full-time author working on a new series.