So there I was last Sunday night, sneaking away from the kitchen and dinner prep and the phone rang. I figured it was yet another telemarketer because it said UNKNOWN NAME, UNKNOWN NUMBER on the Caller ID screen.
Instead, it was from the head of the Agatha Awards Committee. Bookplate Special had been nominated for an Agatha Award for best novel.
The first thing I did was burst into tears. I wish I could say they were of joy, but I'd been having kind of a bummer of an evening, and to top it off, had been listening to the Chieftains' CD Santiago, and in particular Galician Overture, which is incredibly sad (hey, it's got bagpipes--nuff said). So when she said Bookplate Special had been nominated ... I kinda lost it.
Of course, she asked that I not say a word about it until after all the nominees had been informed. I did ask if I could tell my mother and my agent and editor, and she said yes.
By the time I got off the phone, I had cheered up immensely. (Just about the time the Chieftains were hitting their stride with Getting Sail/Muineira de Frexido--which must be one of the most joyful tunes ever recorded.) I yelled to my husband, "Bookplate Special--a major award!" (I figured he was in the exempt column, too.) And of course, you know what he thought.
It was a l-o-n-g four days until the announcement was made public last night. In fact, I was beginning to wonder if A.) I had hallucinated the entire phone call or B.) Someone had been playing an elaborate joke on me. But, no--my name (or Lorna's) really was on the list of nominees (Second, in fact! We'll just pretend it's NOT in alphabetical order, eh?)
But whoa again--take a look at the nominees on that short list for Best Novel. How could anyone NOT be thrilled to have their work among these names:
Swan for the Money, Donna Andrews, St. Martin’s Minotaur
Bookplate Special, Lorna Barrett, Berkley Prime Crime
Royal Flush, Rhys Bowen, Berkley Prime Crime
A Brutal Telling, Louise Penny, Minotaur Books
Air Time, Hank Phillippi Ryan, MIRA
Bookmarked for Death was actually eligible for nomination, as well, but I'm really proud that Bookplate Special got it. I love that little story (and LOVE the cover, too). And while the competition is so stiff there isn't a chance in H-E Double Hockey Sticks it can win, it's going to be a fun ride until they announce the winner on May 1st.
My thanks to everyone who nominated my book. It's a terrific honor!