Here I am with fellow finalist Martha Crites.
I'm honored to be a finalist for the prestigious Nancy Pearl Book Award. A huge congratulations to New York Times-bestselling author Carla Norton, who won for her novel What Doesn't Kill Her.
Being a finalist has been a heady experience. I mean, Nancy Pearl is the biggest thing that's happened to books since the Kindle. She has her own action figure:
And everyone who's heard I'm a finalist for the award named after her gives me impressed eyes and immediately rushes out to buy my book.
OK, not really on the book-buying, but I'm sure that's going to happen any day now. And I did experience my first in-person fangirl gush last night at PNWA when a newbie writer I met last year told me she has all my books and reads all my stuff and omigod I'm like a real writer! Still in shock about being a finalist for the Nancy Pearl, I was not prepared for this fangirl and am convinced she thought I was someone else.
The best part of last night's award ceremony was social hour at my table. In my own genre there was fellow finalist Martha Crites, whose novel Grave Disturbance was published by the new indie press Rat City Publishing. I can't wait to read Martha's book!
Next was Charlotte Stuart, a finalist in the mystery category for her unpublished novel-in-progress. Interesting double coincidence: Charlotte and I both left tenured teaching positions due to the lure of the sea. She to join her husband on a fishing boat in Southeast Alaska, and me to serve as the first and only woman to ever edit Fishermen's News, which is also the same paper Charlotte's husband wrote for in the 90s. How weird is that?
Finally, I can't say enough good things about upcoming historical author Mary Gregersen, who secured second place in the unpublished contest for her novel-in-progress, The Narrow Door. She and I had a great conversation about our writing process, Irish heritage, dreams, and how we came to focus on fiction. Mary's the only author I know to have actually made good on that dream to work in a writer's cottage in the backyard.
All in all, I'm thrilled to be a finalist. I lost to a super pro novelist and true crime writer who's a New York Times-bestselling author, and I was in great company with the other finalists. Of course, there's always next year.
Most importantly, I made new friends. And that newbie writer fan girl? She placed third in her category. So you never know what's ahead.