Day three.  The day.  Women of the Apocalypse has gone on a terrific run and I bet a win could give it a little more juice.  Just a little more.  Women of the Apocalypse was up for Best Work (Other – a category reserved for anthologies) and Best Short (for Eileen‘s Pawns Dreaming of Roses).

Who were we up against?  On Spec, Neo Opsis, Rob Sawyer’s Distant Early Warnings, and Julie E. Czerneda & Rob St. Martin’s Ages of Wonder.  Wow.  All heavyweights.

Before the Aurora gala there was still some unfinished business.  A panel on Collaborations (me, Eileen, Billie, and Barb Galler-Smith & Josh Langston of the Aurora-nominated Druids).  The panel went well — especially because we had fans show up.  People who found our book randomly at McNally’s in Winnipeg, enjoyed the book, and decided to come out.

Also partook in a Read-off.  Think of American Idol for writers.  The one thing I learned was how difficult it was to get past the skepticism of the editors.  Now, this was a contest so they were extra harsh, I’m sure.  But one misplaced word and you were out.  I was ‘buzzed’ by two of the four editors (which was actually pretty good).

Hayden Trenholm, who read the submissions, snuck a few professional entries in there.  Not one made it through.  China Mieville, Ursa LaGuin, Stephanie Meyers, and Danielle Steele all got buzzed.

Onto the gala.  At a table of eight, we had Chadwick Ginther and his girlfriend Wendy, Aunt Ruth, Patricia (Eileen’s mom), me, Billie, Eileen, and Harold.  You know, people kept telling us to relax, to enjoy the moment.  And I’m sure that’s sound advice, but difficult to do.

Did I mention that we never bothered with a speech (or even talking about it) in fear of jinxing ourselves?

Hayden Trenholm presented our category and when we won, he handed us the award (this thing definitely isn’t ending up in a sock drawer).  Hayden is a past winner so he told us to enjoy the moment.

Of course, once at the stage, we were in chaos.  Speech?  What?  Who goes up?  Who tries to hide in the background?

Luckily, I did have a few ideas in mind knowing a) that it would be me forced up there and b) I would probably forget everything.  I thanked the other nominees, the Apocalyptic 4 (the bloodletting in a collaborative project never ends…so this was a biggie), Brian Hades (our publisher) for taking a chance with us, Rob Sawyer for his professional help (more on that in a future post), our families for putting up with our nonsense while this was ongoing, and our fans who voted for us.

It didn’t end there.  Oh no.  Eileen made it 2 for 2 as she won the Aurora for Best Short form.  Rob Sawyer won for Best Long.  All the winners and nominees can be found here.

But as we reveled in our victory, it was so obvious that even though writing is a solitary pursuit, it takes so much to have a successful product (and make no mistake – it is a product). That will be in the epilogue…