"Crocodile Tears" Wins 2nd Place for Fiction with a Central Romance in the Rudy Awards!

I'm not the kind of author who is blessed with plotbunnies that will yield straightforward books. My work is complex and doesn't always fit clearly into a single category. Snapdragon was a doozie to write, but even more than Snapdragon, I've struggled with Crocodile Tears, my unpublished manuscript that's gone through quite an identity crisis. I haven't said much about Crocodile Tears yet--what you should know is that it deals with a multi-generational family feud. When the hero's father dies and leaves the daughter of the enemy family half of his multi-million-dollar fortune, my hero and heroine are forced to work for each of their inheritances by getting to the bottom of the family feud. This makes for a compelling story but placed me, as an author, to tell not only the story of how my enemy hero/heroine pairing falls in love--I also had to reveal the story of the feud.

In other words, there's simply a lot going on--a lot of things that have to happen in a very specific way that things tend not to always unfold when you're dealing with romance. I'm a romance writer, so I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to tell you it's a HEA--but the truth is, the family feud story is primary and the love that emerges between my characters is secondary to the plot.

It is daunting to know that what is probably the best story I've ever written may also be the hardest story to sell. It's the most layered, the most interesting, and the most emotionally searching of anything I think I've ever written. Yet, every day it's a worry of mine that this wonderful story just might not get picked up.

With all that said, I'm immeasurably thrilled that "Crocodile Tears" placed in The Rudy Awards for Fiction with a Central Romance. It is a huge emotional motivator for authors to receive any evidence that there is a market for their work. Convincing editors of that is a different thing, but I'll take this award with much gratitude. One day, one thing, one manuscript at a time.