31 March 2010

Welcome to Rebecca Cantrell!

Rebecca Cantrell is the author of A Trace of Smoke, which won the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award at Left Coast Crime 20, earlier this month in Los Angeles. I asked Rebecca to share with us how she felt when she won the award.

Thanks, Marlyn, for asking me to blog here today!

I met up with Marlyn again at Left Coast Crime where she, and a couple of hundred other people, witnessed something rarely seen even by my nearest and dearest: me speechless.

That almost never happens, but it did at Left Coast Crime on Saturday, March 13, 2010. I’d been nominated for the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award, along with the very talented Rhys Bowen, Tasha Alexander, Gary Phillips, and Jeri Westerson. I was absolutely thrilled to be part of that list, but I genuinely believed that I would not win.

Thinking you are not going to win is a great strategy throughout the weeks before and the long banquet where everyone waits for the awards to be announced. I sat there calmly watching my friends get more and more nervous. “What are they worried about?” I thought. “I won’t actually win.” So I ate my delicious meal with a minimum of fidgeting and fuss.

Thinking you are not going to win becomes a terrible strategy if you actually DO win. Because at that point my brain effectively shut down, along with my speech centers. I was so dazed that many, many people kindly pointed me in the direction of the stage as I stumbled across the room. It was clear to everyone that I wasn’t getting there without outside assistance. I mounted the steps, said something, almost fell down the stairs, and somehow made it back to my seat.

My friend, Eric Beetner--also a wonderful writer, whose ONE TOO MANY BLOWS TO THE HEAD is just out, sneakily filmed the whole thing. I think the video speaks louder than I can.

A Trace of Smoke wins at Left Coast Crime 2010 from Eric Beetner on Vimeo.

According to my mother, my brother has watched one part over and over: the part where Eric asks me for a prepared statement, and I just stand there opening and closing my mouth with no sound coming out. Apparently, my brother says, “Now there’s something you don’t see every day.”

Indeed you don’t.

If I win anything again, I promise to acquit myself better.


  1. I love your little gasp of surprise. Darling!!

  2. Big mystery writer not want to be darling! (yes, Tarzan is the only one who can express that correctly).

    Thanks, Sophie!

  3. This is SO cool, Rebecca. Loved seeing your bodyguard with you too, in the fedora :-) Sophie, I hope you can top that speech when you win the Edgar next month. It'll be tough, but I know you can!

    Again, Rebecca, big props to a great writer.

  4. Thanks, Shane!

    It's always a good idea to run around with a bodyguard in a cool orange fedora from Paris. Kinda classes up the joint, ya know?

    I have great hopes for Sophie's speech next month...

  5. Rebecca, thank you so much for the guest post! And Sophie, I hope you'll do a post for me when you win the Edgar next month. (I sure hope we're not jinxing you!)

  6. I'm so glad I brought out my little camera. The documentarian in me just can't be helped.
    I think the day you get used to winning awards is the day you should hang it up. But this is surely the first of many.
    Congrats again Rebecca.

  7. Even more amazing than what you did or didn't say is what you wrote down just afterwards. So glad I was there.

  8. You were charming. Everyone loved it!

  9. Thanks, Rachel and Eric!

    Keith, I think I wrote "To Keith Raffel, who is always right" in a delirious state. So, is that legally binding?

  10. Becky, found this on the web. It's Pennsylvania law but I think it would apply in most states:

    "Examples of physical conditions that can cause the loss of capacity to make contracts include paralysis, delirium, strokes, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or dementia. Merely having the condition does not make the person incapacitated. The condition must have sufficiently affected the intellect so that the person cannot comprehend the nature and character of the transaction. If the person cannot comprehend the nature and character of his acts, any contracts or agreements such a person makes are voidable."

    Sorry. I don't think you were quite so nutso that you didn't comprehend what you were doing. You wrote it and signed it!

  11. My only hope is that you inadvertantly SPEND it.


Thank you so much for dropping by and reading my blog. I do read all comments, and try to respond.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...