Immediately my mind segwayed to American Title, the writing contest (now in its fourth year) designed to mimic American Idol. Hosted by Romantic Times Magazine and Dorchester Publishing, it encompasses a contest on a grand international arena with the ultimate prize of a publishing contract. I have attempted to be good enough three out of the four years (since I didn’t have a historical tucked away anywhere that one year). Unfortunately this year, JUST ONE LIFE (the book I sampled last Halloween) didn’t have enough X-factor to make the cut. However, I do have a friend who got the spectacular news that she is a finalist!
Each month the contest takes on a new topic of battle. This month it’s the First Line. After the entries are put on show, the three guest judges weigh in with their two cents worth. However, the readers hold the power, because they vote (via e-mail) for who they think is the best. Those messages are tallied (much like Idol’s phone calls) and the entrant with the lowest score is booted. On it goes until there are two left standing, with the winner to be announced at next year’s RT Convention in Pittsburgh, PA.
This year’s field spans the borders of paranormals with entrants that are traditional, mixed in with a couple futuristics, some fantasies, and a dash of western elements as well as suspenseful mystery. The contestants are just as diverse and hail from across the USA and United Kingdom. If you want to learn more about the authors, go to http://www.sylviaday.com/blog/2007/ which provides a more candid intro than the ones at the American Title page. (Thanks again Sylvia!)
If you want to jump right in and read the First Lines, then vote go to http://www.romantictimes.com/news_amtitle3.php . Just make sure to get there by the 28th to make your choice heard for Round One! Only you can help the author you think is the best advance to the next round. So vote, vote, vote (though padding the e-mail count isn’t allowed)!
Are you wondering why I started this post with Betty Suárez and how she’s related to Halloween, which is fast approaching?
I was wasting writing time to study my target. I’m borrowing Betty’s name and character this year as my Halloween pick. What sense of style I have (thanks Tim Gunn) still shudders at my zany outfit. I’ve nailed the wig and the glasses (almost to a T), but I’m still working on those braces! How perfect a choice is Betty, since she’s getting serious about her writing? (And no, it isn’t all due to the $200 prize, though that mullah could enrich my RT fund.)
What/who are you impersonating this Halloween? Or are you rooting for a Title finalist, if so you can spill here (just not blood)?