When my wonderful publisher Ken Harrison asked me to write about how awesome it feels to be a finalist for the 21st Annual Lambda Literary Awards, I immediately agreed. I’ve now had some time to get used to the idea that a number of writers, booksellers, librarians, and journalists—according to the official Lambda Literary Foundation website—thought my debut novel THE PROTECTOR deserved to compete against books written by Laura Baumbach, Josh Lanyon and Larry Duplechan, who’s the very opposite of a debut author.

Holy cow! I imagine this is what it feels like to be nominated for an Oscar. Or ace the Olympic try-outs. It feels like getting into graduate school or looking at your newborn for the very first time.

I’m so thrilled and so proud, I’m positively glowing. I’m all “it’s so awesome to just have been nominated I won’t even mind losing.”

I was pretty good about repressing any pre-announcement jitters. I didn’t once visit the Lambda site to check if maybe, just maybe Charles Flowers posted the list two weeks early. In fact, I’d completely forgotten about the Lammies until last Friday when I suddenly realized why March 15 was circled on my calendar. Then I became nervous. To make matters worse I had plans for Sunday and wouldn’t be able to check my e-mail every ten minutes (which would have been okay had the announcement come before 8 a.m. Central time).

Instead, I was at the grocery store when Ken called. My excited outcry at the good news probably scared off some patrons *g*

Receiving congratulatory e-mails from friends and fans and readers before I even had a chance to see the nominations for myself was totally exciting. I mean I’m supposed to be excited, I have a personal stake in this, but it seemed other people were just as happy and thrilled as I was. How cool.

Well, you’re probably getting the idea that sometimes even writers have trouble finding the right words. So I really want to say just one thing: THANKS to all those people who believed in me and supported me. You guys rock!

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