A year ago--almost to the day--I entered my novel (now titled The Mermaid's Sister) in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I had no intention of winning. I didn't really believe my entry would go far among ten thousand others, although I hoped it would get far enough to win the free manuscript review by Publishers Weekly offered as a prize for quarter finalists. And it did! Seashell, Stork and Apple Tree (the book's original title) received a glowing review from PW. I was thrilled! Mission accomplished.
But wait! The ride wasn't over!
I remember the July day when the phone rang and the caller i.d. said Amazon. I thought they were calling to ask how I liked a recent purchase. Instead, two very excited ladies gave me some of the best news of my life: I'd won the Young Adult category and was in the running for the grand prize. Not only that--they gushed over the book. They loved it. And I had thought that only my grandma would ever love it!
In the end, I didn't win the grand prize. But I did win a publishing contract with Skyscape, and a nice advance.
Today, after a lot of work (and collaboration with wonderful editors, a pesky copy editor, a proofreader, and a cover designer), my book has been born. Because it was chosen for the Kindle First program, it's being read right now in places I will never go.
My book has just been born, but in this digital world, it has instantly become a grown-up child and it has gone off to have adventures of its own.
I am grateful.
I am in awe.
Today, something the character O'Neill says in The Mermaid's Sister springs to my mind. The hope he expresses has been fulfilled for me. I share that sentiment with you and for you.
"And I hope that you will soon see that the world is also more beautiful than you had known, and more full of kindness and love. Perhaps, on our journey, you will find this out for yourself. You will come with Maren and me, won’t you?”
Thank you for sharing my joy.