My daughter, Tamar Bihari, who writes as Talia Quinn Daniels, just won a coveted Golden Heart Award in the category of single title romance. When she told me (via email as she was in California for the Conference), I cried, a lot, noticeably, and Lila barked, a lot. I am so very very happy for Tamar. You might think I had won, I am so happy. She is a wonderful writer, could, and does, write in every genre, novels, film scripts, serious, romantic, mystery, young adult, journalistic, the whole nine yards. I don’t think she cares much for short stories, though; but I’m not sure of that.
Her presence at the conference was planned for several months. Dan and Damian were going to meet her there and they would have a short holiday afterwards in LA, where they used to live. But it didn’t happen like that. (Is life ever a straight line?)
The best way to describe her experience of the conference is in her own words. Here, in part, is what she said in her acceptance speech:
I had a different speech written, but my fourteen year old son is in the middle of a health crisis, which we found out was serious while I was on the plane Tuesday. As you can imagine, my conference experience has been an emotional roller coaster. When I got here, I was ready to get on the next plane back to New York. But my husband said, “No, stay, he’s stable at the moment and you deserve this.” My fellow Golden Heart finalists have opened their arms and their hearts to me and made it possible for me to enjoy being here despite myself. If you think about it, that’s not only wonderful, but also appropriate. This is what romance is about, more than any other genre. Human emotion. Human connection.
I still choke up with tears when I think about all this. My thanks to the judges at RCA, to the people who were so kind to Tamar while she was there and will continue to be her friends, and especially my thanks to Dan and Damian for being supportive of her career. My hope, and all of ours, is that Damian recovers quickly.