My unpublished Young Adult fantasy novel, Vagabond, won an award!
Click here to read a short synopsis.
The thing that I anticipated most was the feedback from the judges. First, I want to start by offering encouragement to those of you who fear to submit your work. (Or fear critique and criticism in general.) Sometimes I have won, but more often than not, I have lost. It has been worth every emotion because of the feedback I have received from professionals in this crazy business of writing.
Here are a few judges comments that I received.
*I believe this is a page turner that young adults will very likely read in one sitting.
*This story appeals to me tremendously, and not just as a YA book. I think it is a very marketable concept. I would absolutely buy this book and then buy one for my niece.
The comment that left me grinning from ear to ear was …
*Your love interest is captivating and oozes with sexuality.
That one made me giggle! Because, for an author who writes clean romance, that is exactly what I love to hear. I do not write erotica, nor will I. I believe characters can have the same attraction, if not more so, by focusing on the dynamics of the relationship, not the dynamics in the bedroom. I have met a kaleidoscope of women and men in all their varying degrees and comfort levels of romance. Because of this, I have only respect for anyone who conveys their truth.
Speaking of clean romance authors, the lovely Sarah M. Eden (pictured above with me) was in attendance at the awards banquet. As she spoke to the gathered crowd, she reminded me about the “why’s” of writing, not the “what if’s.” If you have not read her books, you need to. Like, right now.
Authors are dreamers, inquisitive wielders of words and thoughts. It is easy for us to get lost in the “what if’s”, daydreaming about book sales and five star ratings, but that is not why we write. It isn’t for me anyway. I write because I must. I write because it is an outlet for my heart to bleed or vent or dream. I write for myself.
I want to thank you judges (whoever you are) and all of my fabulous critique partners. You guys make it fun!