Saturday, June 02, 2007

Å Surprise Award for Straight Into Gay America

Thank you for the many emailed congratulations. Each letter brings a good memory. Here's a surprise.

Judging committees send notices to authors who reach the finalist category. Then those who are able show up at the ceremony to discover the final rankings. Yes, I'd submitted Straight Into Gay America for Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year awards. But having received no communication from Foreword I showed up at the ceremony just to enjoy the show.

The publisher sitting next to me was biting her nails. She was a finalist. When the Gay/Lesbian category came up the presenters projected the covers of the books for the bronze and the silver awards, two books I had not known before. Then the gold medal winner was announced, a complete surprise, my book was on the screen, Straight Into Gay America.

There's a spam filter somewhere in cyber space that knows I got a finalist notice from Foreword. Thanks to showing up at the awards, now I know it too.

A few hours later I was at the IPPY awards, a packed basement lounge in Manhattan's theater district. Loud and raucous, I received a bronze medal, the third award for Straight Into Gay America. As far as I know, that's all.

This morning I head back to Book Expo for another day of swimming in books. It's a staggering showing, filling all the space in the Javits exhibition hall. Lots of thoughts are stirring. I'll get back to you with more when I return home on Monday.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Book Awards for Straight Into Gay America

The biggest compliments I get for writing Straight Into Gay America sound like this,"You write as if you were a gay man. It's as if you've told my own story."

Last night Publishers Marketing Association awarded Straight Into Gay America the Benjamin Franklin Award for best book in the Gay/Lesbian category. This recognition from the writing community moved me more deeply than I had expected (yes, there were three finalists and then an announcement, so it was a surprise.).

Tonight Straight Into Gay America receives a second award, this one an IPPY from Independent Publishers Association- no suspense this time, it will be a bronze in the Gay/Lesbian category.

Writers. Authors. Publishers. These have always seemed liked other people, people who are not me. Last night, in New York City, riding the subway with the heavy glass award resting in my lap, I felt author identity come a step closer to my life. It was a beautiful night, savoring the feeling, recalling all the blessings of the ride, the people, and the creating of Straight Into Gay America.

Thank you,