I’ve been nominated for an Emma Award for Debut Author of the Year for Being Plumville. What that means is, there were enough Romance Slam Jam conference attendees who’d heard of my book, read it, and enjoyed it, to nominate me as one of five brand-new authors. What’s even more trippy is that I’m the only self-published author on that entire list, and my name is on the same page as Brenda Jackson and Beverly Jenkins. This is the premier award in Black Romance—think the NAACP Image Awards v. Oscars/Emmys/Golden Globes, but for books—and I really had no idea just HOW much of a big deal it was until I saw my name on that list.. I found out about the nomination on Wednesday, but I’ve been sitting on it and trying to process it . . . I still haven’t quite, actually. I mean, yeah, I nominated myself, but I thought I was the only one, or maybe some of the other people I knew had nominated me, too, and that’s only about 12 people at the most. But . . . heh. I had no idea. You really can knock me over with a feather, I’m so surprised. And humbled, and yes, excited. I could win. If the four judges like my book, I could win. I could beat out all of these Leisure Books and Kimani Romances and Genesis Press and Parker Publishing people—many of whom have rejected me (in fact, an agent for one of the authors in my category rejected Being Plumville. Heh.) and make the thousands of dollars I’ve poured into publishing my book worthwhile. But on the other hand, I fully believe it when people say “It’s an honor to be nominated”, because I genuinely feel that way. I also think I’m the youngest person on that list, too. I have no agent, I have no publishing home, but, yo, I’m on that list. Not too shabby, I don’t think.