My cell phone buzzed, my editor’s name scrolled across the screen. I clicked into the text message. It read: You got SECOND PLACE!
I was in Wyoming at a national dance event and not able to attend the 2017 Colorado Independent Publishers Association’s EVVY Awards for independent publishers. I had been informed two weeks prior that The Balance, the second book of my science fiction series was a finalist in the science fiction category but I would not know if it had earned enough points to place until the award ceremony on August 19, 2017. Since I knew that I would not be able to attend the ceremony I had asked my editor if she would represent me just in case the book picked up an award. She graciously accepted saying that, of course, The Balance would place. I was not so sure because I had entered it in two other categories, Fantasy and Cover Design, and it had not been a finalist in either. My reaction was mixed on learning that – but that will be left for another blog.
I was surprised at my relief after reading Melanie’s text. Then I reread the text. SECOND PLACE! I did a little happy dance and ran to find my husband and friends to tell them.
In 2014, the first book of The Stone’s Blade series, The Blood, had placed Third in both Fantasy and Science Fiction categories and the cover & interior design had received a Merit award. I had originally planned to enter The Balance in the EVVY Awards in 2016, the year it was published. However, due to unexpected delays in the cover design, publication of the book would not be in time to enter. So I had to wait almost a full year. It seems the wait was worth it.
I knew the second book was better than the first. There was a tremendous amount of work to keep story line’s straight, characters straight, and the decision to focus on particular story lines was perhaps the most important, all the while continuing sub-stories moving forward at the same time so I could highlight them in the third and perhaps fourth books being planned. And to my surprise (yes, I was surprised) a Second place in the 2017 EVVY Awards stated that we had succeeded in our goal of making The Balance better. It took team work to get this award and I thank my daughter, Kristina Book, for sparking the idea that led to the story line; my editor, Melanie Mulhall, for her coaching, mentoring, editing, and help in ferreting out the intricacies of writing a complicated series; my proofreader & e-book transformer, Helena Mariposa, for her talents, and my cover & interior designer, Nathan Fisher, for his inspired vision of the Stones which graces the cover.
When I picked up the physical award from Melanie the following week she commented that she expected the third book to bring in a First place when it was entered – she’s thinking of 2018 and I’m thinking 2019. No pressure there. Since I am only a third of the way into the rough draft I guess we will just have to wait and see. There’s exciting stuff coming up.
In the mean time you can get your own copies of award winning science fiction The Blood and The Balance via Amazon (paperback and e-book) or paperbacks at any of the three locations of The Tattered Cover Bookstore in the Denver metro area – they are in the young adult fiction shelves. Of course, you can always track me down and get a signed copy from me at a reduced price.
Let me know what you think. Oh, I am available for author events, book signings, etc. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.