Rosemary writes YA with a supernatural twist and is the award-winning author of seven published novels. She's also super nice and a sister Texan! What can be better? Well, she's sharing her insights into the Gayle Wilson...
(a) You won the Gayle Wilson Award’s Young Adult Category in 2008 and in 2009 for “Prom Dates From Hell” and “Hell Week.” Wow, two years in a row...congratulations! Why did you enter the contest?
The short answer is, I'm friends (and a total fangirl of) the amazing Jennifer Echols who said: Enter this Contest. And I was like, okay. For one thing, The Gayle Wilson, at the time, was one of the few published book contents with a Young Adult category. To set the scene a bit: Twilight was just a blip on the radar, but genre-friendly YA (romance, paranormal romance, etc.) was about to explode with books like City of Bones, Wicked Lovely, Vampire Academy and Simone Elkeles's romances.
The next year, when I entered Hell Week, YA was getting much more attention from the RWA as a whole, the cool thing about the Gayle Wilson is that it's a smaller but well regarded contest so you have a chance to achieve recognition without the intimidation of some of the juggernaut entries in RITA.
(b) The chapter works hard on making the Gayle Wilson a good experience for participants, and it's good to hear from someone who has participated (twice!) what works. Thank you for your kind words. What benefit did you gain from winning the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence?
Prom Dates from Hell went on to final in the RITA Award's "Best First Book" category, and Hell Week won the RITA for best YA Romance. So I'd say the Gayle Wilson Award brought me a lot of luck!
Prom Dates From Hell was my first book, and the Gayle Wilson Award was the first award I won. So obviously I have great affection for the contest. It was a real boost to my confidence when I needed it.
Writing is such a head game; you're working on your next book while fretting about how the previous one is being received. Now I got to put an adjective in front of my job in my bio: Award-winning author Rosemary Clement-Moore. I couldn't say "best-selling author" (yet) but award-winning is nothing to sneeze at.
(c) So true...and I'm really glad the Gayle Wilson led you to more well-deserved honor. :) Thank you so much for taking the time to share your insights with us Rosemary! What are you working on now?
I am working on a paranormal romance based on a classic but not-often-used legend. There's a girl, and a crab shack, and a ghost ship... and that's all I can say because I'm so superstitious. I love to mash up history and legend with smart, modern heroines and twists on the supernatural stuff, and this is definitely that.
Oooh, intriguing! I know I can't wait to read Rosemary's new project...but while we are awaiting, here's your chance to read up on Rosemary's other works:
As it happens, Prom Dates and Hell Week have been reissued as a two-in-one novel retitled "Brimstone." And Rosemary is generously giving away a copy to a reader who comments. A winner from the comments will be picked at random & announced Wednesday (12/18). Start commenting!
If you are a published romance author and would like to enter the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, go to www.southernmagic.org for more information.