We learned about it on Wednesday night, October 8. I didn't even know how to celebrate, except to share posts by some of the other 13 authors in the set who announced it on Facebook and Twitter. Now that the news is almost a week old, I'm still at a loss. Do I throw myself a party? Buy a cake (bad idea, as I would eat the cake).
I did take a permanent marker and write the news on some of my giant postcards, then hand-deliver them around town. Nobody turned me away, and everyone seemed happy for me. I guess in a way, I gave myself a traveling party, and the party favors were the postcards.
I used to be organized, and a bit of a planner. In the past several years, life wore me down, and I struggle with both of those things now. Boy, does that need to change!
I can't take much credit at all for this achievement. The only things I did were:
1. Recognize that the formation of Sweet Romance Reads in 2013 was a turning point in my career. Before SRR, I always felt a bit out of place because I didn't write spicy romance.
2. Taste the thrill of great sales when Love in a Small Town with Maddie James, Janet Eaves and Jan Scarbrough was an Amazon bestseller in late 2013 and early 2014. And be hungry for that thrill again.
4. Attend the Romance Writers of America national conference in San Antonio and become even more excited and encouraged by the great information sharing and camaraderie. I even got to participate in the Readers for Life booksigning, with copies of my own three-story anthology, The Sweeter Side of Legend: The McClains of Legend, Tennessee. Thanks to Turquoise Morning Press for making that happen!
5. Write my best book in years, taking less than a month from start to finish. Enlist beta readers, purchase a cover, hire an editor. (This part makes me sound organized, but I think it's an anomaly.)
Most of the credit for the USA Today list goes to the other authors in the set. They are amazing businesswomen, clearly outstanding in their organizational and planning skills.
The choices, the relationships, the work and the teamwork have resulted in the letters USAT appearing after my name. I consider it a doctorate of sorts, cooler by far than the degree on my college diploma. (I'd leave instructions to have "USA Today Bestselling Author" put on my tombstone, but I plan to be cremated. I wonder if I can have my college ring altered to include USAT...)
The romance writing world is a beautiful place. I'm so fortunate to be here!
And you know, the next time I hit a big list, I think I'll go ahead and get cake.
Magdalena Scott, USAT
You can find all my books at your favorite online bookseller: