One of Five Scribes favorite guests is the phenomenal Kaki Warner. She's as fun and (dare I say it) nice as she is talented. I wondered if a RITA win for best first book for PIECES OF SKY would change her. What's more, she's got her new Runaway Brides trilogy going, I'll let readers decide for themselves. Please welcome Kaki Warner.
Since winning a RITA thirty-three days ago—you didn’t hear about that? Maybe you should get out more—things have changed. For one, I’ve built a lovely shrine for her in the garden nestled between the cosmos and butterfly plant. OK. I didn’t actually build a shrine. That would be tacky. I mostly set her on a rock, took a pic, then rushed her back inside before she got smudged, or tarnished or a bird left a digestive indiscretion on her. She’s currently on my mantle, which suits her…although I still think she looks lonely. I asked for suggestions on facebook, and she received some fine offers of companionship from (among others) Ken, Buzz Lightyear, a rather bedraggled Six Million Dollar Man, an entire battalion of GI Joe’s (do they think she’s a slut?), Anthony Weiner, the governor of California, and Tiger Woods. I believe she’s leaning toward Woody. Something about the name, I think. So she’s happy. The rest of the family is…well, you can read about my husband’s reaction here:
As for the loon hound, she hasn’t quit howling. But then, she never does. Bless her heart.
But there are other changes, too. In addition to sky-rocketing from almost nearly semi-famous to the lofty ranks of the nearly semi-famous—you have heard of me, right? And winning a RITA? Oh. Well I won’t bore you with that old story again, HA, HA. Another big change is that I can’t leave the house without sunglasses. Admittedly, they’re prescription, but still, it’s a bother. Luckily it doesn’t turn dark here until after 9PM, and I’m rarely invited out—probably because my new famousness intimidates people.
But here’s the odd thing. One would think winning a RITA (see above) would be a huge emotional boost. And it was—right up there behind shock, disbelief, incredulity, astonishment, and maybe shock. And gratitude—lots and lots of that. But once that first rush faded and my heart quit palpitating and I had stopped gasping long enough to change my unmentionables, that rude, hateful voice that echoes inside every writer’s head began to snicker. “One shot wonder”—“It’s just a first book. What about the rest?”—“It was a pity award. They knew how long it took you to write it and felt sorry for you”, and my personal favorite—“Are you shitting me? YOU?”
We’ve all heard about the RITA winner who left the RWA Conference with her coveted statuette and was never heard from again (Maybe not, but I’m sure she’s out there). And now I know the cause: Fear. Doubt. Plummeting self-confidence. Because when you finally meet a cherished goal (or like me, actually surpass it), suddenly EXPECTATIONS soar.
Can I live up to RITA? What if I can never, EVER, write another book worth reading! Kill me now!
But Donnell asked, so there it is—how fame and a very heavy, gold (fake, but nice, nonetheless) statuette has both lifted up a newbie writer and cast her into the depths of despair. I know what you’re thinking: “That poor dear. What can I do to make her feel better?” Well, here’s how! Just go get my latest book, HEARTBREAK CREEK! As sales numbers climb past double digits, my confidence will be restored! All because of YOU!
And anyway, it’s a pretty good book. I doubt it’ll win a Pulitzer, HA,HA…well, maybe. But still, it’s a fun read and there’s a couple of nasty parts where I say “breasts”. There’s a summary and excerpt on my website: http://www.kakiwarner.com (catchy name, huh?). Check it out for yourself.
But if you’re feeling extra lucky and want to win a free copy, autographed by a real RITA winner, just leave a comment about how you’ll behave when YOU win (which you will—if I can, you can) your RITA, or EDGAR, or NEWBERRY, or DAPHNE, or whatever. (And when you do, I hope you’ll get more out of it from your “loved one” than pastrami on rye. Although, it was pretty ding-dang tasty, and I didn’t have to fix it, so there’s that.)
Fame. What will you do when it comes knocking on your door?
Kaki Warner is an award-winning author and long time resident of the Pacific Northwest. Although she now lives on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, Kaki actually grew up in the Southwest and is a proud graduate of the University of Texas. Her years spent riding horses and enjoying the expansive views of Texas became the inspiration for the backdrop of her novels - the wide-open spaces of historic New Mexico Territory.
Several years ago after their two children had left for college, Kaki and her husband, Joe, moved from the city to their hilltop cabin overlooking the scenic Methow Valley. Kaki now spends her time gardening, hiking, reading, writing, and soaking in the view from the deck with her husband and floppy-eared hound dog.
Kaki drew two winners to received one of her books! Congratulations to Susan Boyer and Lisa Potacar!!!