Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award – finals

So, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards finalists have been named.  A sincere congratulations to them all.  To persevere writing a novel through to the end is an achievement itself, but to be so applauded by honest-to-goodness publishers like Penguin is a massive boost.  So very well done.  No, honestly, for once I’m not sarcastic.


But I was close to tears last week when my name wasn’t called.  On Wednesday that suicidal spark of hope whispered it could take a day to get round to contacting me, and they’re eight hours behind UK, and, and, and…

But the call never came, and I accepted my part of the race was run.  All sorts of emotions, both during my part and after, have raged through me.

At each stage of the competition I experienced elation, each hurdle overcome throwing me into higher jubilation.  Then halfway through I suffered a loss of confidence.  It was a walls of Jericho event.  I could not even bring myself to write a blog or update my Facebook status.  It was all I could do to send in my expense claim at work.  As my confidence grew a little, so did the fear.  I wondered what it would be like to enter the finals and then be exposed as a fraud or a talentless scribbler.  I wondered what it would be like, as my roller-coaster ride became more extreme, to lose at the last fence.  Would I be able to survive the disappointment?

So now it’s time to pick myself up and look to the positive.  I made it through to the last 1 percent.  That’s an achievement in its own right, isn’t it?  Maybe publishers will look more kindly on speculative queries that contain a favourable Publisher Weekly review and the flash ‘ABNA Semi-finalist’.  Maybe my next book (yes, it’s another urban fantasy) will benefit from my experience.  And next year, my next book may even go further.

Yes, say it loud and say it proud:  I’m an ABNA semi-finalist.

That sounds so much better than ‘loser’.


About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

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