And then the guy called my name…Ann Aptaker at the Lambdas!

Hey, everybody! Really excited to have author Ann Aptaker with us today, and she’s coming down off a major high for winning a Lambda at Monday’s Lambda ceremonies in New York City.

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Ann’s Lambda is for her mystery, Tarnished Gold:

New York City, 1950. Cantor Gold, art smuggler and dapper dyke-about-town, hunts for a missing masterpiece she’s risked her life to bring through the port of New York. She must outsmart the Law that wants to jail her; outrun the dockside gangsters who would let her take the fall for murder; and outplay a shady art dealer, his lover, and a beautiful curator who toys with Cantor’s passion. Through it all, Cantor must stay out of the gunsights of a killer who’s knocking off rivals for the missing masterpieceand stay alive to solve the mystery of her stolen love: Sophie de la Luna y Sol.

IS IT ANY WONDER IT WON? How could you NOT want to read that?

At any rate, Ann will now tell you what it was like hearing her name called out.

Thanks, Ann, for sharing this with us!


By Ann Aptaker

So there I was at this year’s Lambda Literary Awards ceremony, seated in the vast and gorgeous Skirball Center theater here in New York, laughing along with everyone else at the hilarious Kate Clinton’s opening stand-up routine, applauding the Lammy finalists, winners, and honorees as they were announced, wishing I hadn’t eaten so many hors d’oeuvres at Nell Stark’s Bold Strokes Books gathering and later at the Lammy’s pre-ceremony reception because the mix of veggies, chicken concoctions, some mysterious something-or-others, and far too many little sweet things, were battling for supremacy in my tummy, a battle made more brutal by my useless attempts to remain cool and calm.

Ann Aptaker at the Lambdas, 2016
Ann Aptaker at the Lambdas, 2016

Any Lammy finalist who tells you they are calm, unconcerned, relaxed, etc., is either delusional or lying.

But I was having a good time. Yes, I was! Because I was at the Lammy Awards, for cryin’ out loud! I was in the company of some of the finest writers and creative people in the world. How can that not be a thrill? I have never felt so elevated and insignificant at the same time.

So an hour or so goes by like this, my hands getting into the rhythm of rising in applause and returning to my lap as each winner traipsed down the aisle to the stage and gave their acceptance speech. Giddiness was the overriding mood at the podium throughout the evening.

And then finally, the Mystery category. I went numb. Yes, numb, as the presenters – Rakesh Satyal and Brian Leung – read the names of my sister finalists. This year’s field was especially strong, not an iffy entrant in the bunch. Did I really think I stood a chance among them? Serious contenders like the best selling Ellen Hart and the multi-honored Victoria Brownworth? What was I even doing on the list?? (No, I’m not being faux-modest. I know I wrote a good book, but with only two books under my belt, how could I be in the same league as my sister finalists?)

So some part of me let go, which was a relief as I heard Victoria Brownworth’s Ordinary Mayhem announced. Okay, the pressure was over. I could resume the battle in my tummy in peace… and then the guy (I don’t know which one!) said ‘Tarnished Gold,’ by Ann Aptaker.”

It was a tie!

Somehow I managed to get up from my seat, work my way out of my row and down the aisle without tumbling, because I never felt so clumsy in my life. Whatever human grace I possessed was gone, and I was all knees, feet, and elbows.

Thank heaven I took the advice of some friends (on Facebook and in the real world) and prepared a short acceptance speech that morning, “just in case.” Otherwise I would have just stood there on stage and drooled. No doubt about it. Frankly, I don’t know how I managed to get through the speech, since my hand was shaking and the scrap of paper I wrote it on was a blur. And the award itself, a beautiful object of solid glass in the shape of a book, is very heavy. I’m surprised I didn’t drop it.

And then…the reality of winning the Lammy, of being honored by my peers, settled on me like a glowing cape. I didn’t feel clumsy anymore, the battle in my tummy ceased, and though that feeling of simultaneous elation and insignificance happened again (I’d been raised into stellar company, dwarfed by those great writers who’d been here before me), it was now in balance, not a dizzying seesaw.
Well, that was my night at the Lammys. Real life and its often mundane requirements once again dictates my days. But there’s still a little glow on my shoulders. Looks nice.

Ann Aptaker’s Lammy winning Tarnished Gold is Book Two in the Cantor Gold Crime Series. The book is also a finalist for the 2016 Goldie Award, which makes Ann very proud, and will now cause her to lose sleep as she goes through Finalist Nerve-Wracking Syndrome all over again. Book Three, Genuine Gold, will release in January 2017, from Bold Strokes Books. When not writing crime fiction, Ann teaches art and art history at the New York Institute of Technology, and is a contributing scriptwriter to the upcoming children’s television series, “Space Racers.”

Find Ann:
Twitter (@annaptaker)
Bold Strokes Books

And there you have it, friends. Ann Aptaker on her fabulous night at the Lambda Awards. Congrats to you, Ann! And to ALL who were finalists and those who won!

Keep glowing!

Happy Friday, all!


  1. Congratulations, Ann. Cantor Gold is a unique character, in an unusal noir fifties setting, forced to deal with a wild cast of supporting characters and situations. What’s not to love. The book is worthy of the award and more.

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  2. Great, great descriptin, Ann, but then a fine writer like you would write an engaging memoir of the evening! Congrats on the Lammy and the two books. Can’t wait for the next one – Cantor Gold is my kinda hero!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just returned from a trip to Europe, and I see this exciting news for you, Ann. Many, many hugs to you and wishes for more exciting awards moments. Keep your vision, your prowess, and your joy of writing and your ink will never fade. Hats off to you!
    A.L. Duncan

    Liked by 1 person

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