It’s been a wild couple of weeks for The Skeptic’s Guide to Reincarnation and I’m just now coming back to earth and taking a breath.
It began last month when I learned SGR and I had made the finals of the San Francisco Writer’s Conference contest. We didn’t win, but we were honored to make the cut.
Then, last week, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award released the list of books that had made it through to the second round. I have to admit that I held my breath as I opened the document and scanned the list. I knew I would have been bitterly disappointed not to make it through the first round, but I was still thrilled and excited when I found my name there.
What was even more thrilling was the response from friends when I posted my news on Facebook. It was so wonderful to see so many people genuinely pleased and excited for me. I even had to calm a couple of wonderfully zealous friend who wanted to know where they could buy the book. (“Not yet,” I had to tell them, “but soon!”)
This past weekend I attended Writer’s Days hosted by the Los Angeles Chapter of The Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. What a fantastic weekend of writing and learning. I met some wonderful children’s book authors and so enjoyed their generosity and warmth. I was having such a good time that I barely gave a thought to the contest all day.
Then the winners were announced, along with a blurb written by one of the contest judges. When I heard Kat’s name, I had one of those slow motion moments where you’re hearing the words and you kind of know they’re talking about you, but it takes few seconds for your brain to catch up.
Fortunately my friend Mary Jo was there to prod me out of my seat and up to the podium to collect my award. I didn’t get to make a speech, which was probably for the best as I would have undoubtedly waffled and said something like, “You like me; you really like me.” But it was the closest thing yet to attending the Academy Awards—and thankfully I didn’t trip on the red carpet.
Best of all, I got a certificate and copy of the write-up from the judges. Here’s what they said that made my day:
“Kat’s boyfriend has been dead for almost three years, but Kat isn’t ready to move on. Then she lays eyes on Owen, who is wandering across his dorm floor in nothing but a towel, and unexpectedly her interest is piqued. THE SKEPTIC’S GUIDE TO REINCARNATION hooks the reader with its very first line and never lets go. The voice is unassuming and introspective, the prose elegant, and the descriptions sensuous, e.g., “there was a hint of Imperial Leather soap, a slight bite of sweaty dampness, and the unmistakable aroma of Aramis cologne.” I can’t wait to read the rest of this book!”
And I can’t wait to have this book available to read!
If you’d like to see the opening chapter that the judges got to read, you can download a copy here. If you want even more, sign up for my newsletter to get a free ebook and audio of the first three chapters. I’d love to know what you think.