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Words Fail Me trying to describe how it felt last night when The Edge of Impropriety won the RITA® for Best Historical Romance at the Romance Writers of America’s Annual Awards Ceremony, the culminating event of our National Conference.

So I just keep saying yes — yes, thanks — yes, it’s amazing, overwhelming, awesome, thrilling.

No hold-the-presses stuff, I’m afraid, and I know it’s a list of words a writer ought not to lean on.

But true, nonetheless, and will have to serve, in partnership with a picture of Ms. Rita herself.

Oscar size, more or less. Heavy, shiny.

And actually a bit dangerous.

Not only could you brain somebody with her, but the quill pin she’s holding is sharp — which is rather a nice physical representation, don’t you think, of a genre that believes so strongly in the power of female wit?

Reminding me how thoroughly my own wit would have failed me when I got up to the podium, had I not scrawled down a list of whom to thank, and which I’d like to repeat here, with fewer stammers. So here goes.

My deepest thanks to:

RWA and the contest judges.

My editor, Laura Cifelli, for the amazing smart tough love she directed toward the first draft of this book.

My agent, Helen Breitwieser. Just… thank you… thank you, Helen.

Three wonderful writers’ groups I’m part of — my local SF Area RWA chapter, the Beaumonde chapter of RWA, and my blogging pals at History Hoydens.

And some other bloggers who’ve written so incisively about me, particularly at DearAuthor and the February Book Club.

My partner in crime Janet Mullany.

And my husband Michael, who reads every word I write, more than helps with the research, and (yes!) writes my synopses. And who is, in every sense of the word, my most astute reader. Thanks for everything.

Come back soon for pictures from the big night!


  1. Huge congrats, Pam! I don’t know when I’ve been so excited about a RITA win. I am thrilled that your exquisite prose has been given proper peer recognition. Well deserved, girl friend.

  2. Congratulations again, Pam! It was lovely to meet you in person. And thank you so much for the shout out to Dear Author in the acceptance speech.

  3. great to meet you too, Janine — though it took a minute to assign a face to the wonderful blog. Thanks again for the congrats.

  4. Huge congratulations–I screamed from my seat, way at the back, when it was announced. It was such a thrill to meet you!


  5. Congratulations, ROCK STAR!

    I want to hear more about the editorial tough love! What did she say that was hard to hear but thrillingly correct? I love editor writer relationship stories!

    xoxox susie

  6. What did it for me, Susie, was the particularly unvarnished nature of her comments, the immediacy of her boredom with redundant, self-regarding prose — and the way she could tell I was spinning my wheels rather than revving the narrative engine.

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