Facebook Party. Eat Chocolate.

It’s definitely chocolate time in my house tonight!

I’m super excited to share my news. A few months ago, I entered my romance novel, Waiting For You in the New England Readers’ Choice contest. Because there are so many entries in the contest, including entries from big publishers, I didn’t expect Waiting For You to get much attention. But I figured it was a way to get my writing in front of more readers.

I certainly didn’t expect the email I received from the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America on Monday.

Waiting For You is a finalist in the long contemporary category and I am over the moon.

One of the challenges of writing is doing so in a bubble. There is a lot of private drafting, redrafting, polishing and critical review before the book ever comes before anyone’s eyes but mine. In that way, it’s a lot like music performance. What you see on stage, or in this case, within a paperback cover is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

But that means, for an author, there is a particular intensity when the first readers come back with comments. Because I can be happy with a story, but if a reader isn’t drawn in and hooked, I haven’t done my job.

When I sang for a living, the best part, the part I waited for and prized the most, was a certain kind of silence. When I heard that, felt it really, I knew my listeners were completely focused. I appreciated that focus for the gift it was.

I feel the same sense of gratitude and awe when I see a reader caught up in my stories.

But most readers read privately, and I rarely get to see them experiencing that sort of focus. That’s why finaling in the Readers’ Choice contest is so significant. And why I am pumped to get the book two launched and book three finished.

This process is addictive. Like chocolate.

Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. Wednesday is generally book review day. Unless it isn’t. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at www.rosegreybooks.com. Waiting For YouHot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.