I’m not sure how I feel about it. Of all my books, The Wind Witch is the one I’d be happiest living in. It got five printings, and I suspected some nominations, like maybe crossing genres to the RITAs for Romance novels. But there weren’t a lot of reviews I was aware of—this is pre-Amazon, so reviews didn’t get handily collected. And it went out of print along with all my other Del Rey books, and I had the rights reverted. But you’d think someone at Del Rey might have mentioned it, back in the day.
Maybe they were bemused, as we all were when The Wizard’s Shadow was named to the New York Public Library’s List of 100 Books for the Teen Age. (Just didn’t think of that as a YA book!) Maybe someone was trying to live down listing it as part of The Warhorse of Estragon series. (Estragon is the French name for the herb tarragon. The Duchy is Esdragon. Might explain why I never stumbled across it.)
The Tiptrees weren’t awards I expected my book to be nominated for anyway. I mean, is it expanding gender roles when two characters of very conventional orientation connect? She’s a widow who thinks she’s barren. He’s a POW and an exile by war and choice. Two people with baggage and pain and trust issues till the cows come home, and watching them reach past all that to trust where they both knew they shouldn’t was my great pleasure. But expanding gender roles…maybe it’s the shapeshifting thing. (Only that’s hardly gender.) People seem to love this book and these characters, and that pleases me. So I’m honored.
And now that The Prince of Ill Luck is available once more, The Wind Witch is next. A whole new crop of readers can decide the question for themselves.