07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Interview: 2011 GH Finalist Arlene Hittle, Series Contemporary

Arlene Hittle
Entry Title, category, year:
BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, Contemporary Series, 2011

Were you the overall Winner that year?

Since the awards haven't been given yet, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that I'll win.

Website and/or Blog Links:

My website can be found at http://arlenehittle.com

Why did you decide to enter your manuscript in the GH Contest?
This is the second year I've entered the Golden Heart. (My 2010 entry was solidly mediocre, according to my scores.) Our chapter, Northern Arizona RWA, has quite the streak going on — four finalists from 2008 to 2010. Part of me wanted to enter in hopes of keeping the streak alive, which I did. Now we've had five finalists in four years. Plus, the GH is the premier contest for unpublished romance writers. You final in it and it confirms that you what it takes to weather the rejections and ultimately succeed.

Where were you and what were you doing when you got the GH call?

This is going to sound totally boring. Because I work 3 to midnight, I usually don't get to bed until 3 a.m. or later. The night of March 24/25 I think it was later, because  I was too excited to sleep. I finally did, though, because when the phone rang that Friday morning just after 8 a.m., I was still asleep. Seeing a number I didn't recognize when I grabbed my cell phone from the nightstand woke me up right quick. My heart started racing and then I heard, "This is so-and-so from RWA" (I wish I hadn't been too excited to catch her name!)

How has being a GH Finalist/Winner affected you as a writer?
Honestly, it's made it a heck of a lot harder for me to focus on writing. That's probably because this is still all so new and exciting. I'm trying to get ready for conference (my first ever Nationals) and shopping for an awards ceremony dress and scraping together the money to pay for the registration, plane ticket, hotel room ... I'm doing everything but actually writing! I did send out a round of queries right after learning I was a finalist, before the madness set in, and I can tell you putting "Golden Heart Finalist" in the subject line of a query grabs a lot of attention.


Judith Ashley said...

Arlene, Thanks for sharing your Golden Heart story. And, no, it isn't boring to read that you were asleep when the call came. I would imagine you didn't go right back to sleep VBG!

chanceofbooks said...

Loved all three stories! Best of luck to this year's crop!

Sarah Raplee said...

Congratulations, Arlene! I imagine things are a bit crazy at this point. I'm impressed that you had the presence of mind to send out a crop of queries right after your GH call. Very smart move on your part.
I love your title, BTW. Good luck!

SamMarie Ashe said...

Wonderful post, thank you for sharing! Good luck with your entry, Arlene! :)

maepen said...

You give us all hope that maybe it'll be our turn when we try. Thanks for the stories! And good luck to you on this years finaling. Crossing my fingers you win.

ElaineCharton said...

Congratulations! Your first National Conference is something special. To be a finalist on top if it is awesome! Enjoy it all,

Arlene said...

Thanks for the well wishes, everyone!

And no, Judith, I didn't go back to sleep right away. First I called my boyfriend to give him the news. (He promised to help send me to Nationals if I finaled in the GH). Then I hopped online to tell my friends at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, then I called some friends from my RWA chapter.

Tam Linsey said...

Good luck, Arlene! Your story is similar to other GH finalists I've known, who get pulled away from writing with all the other finalist activities.