That’s right. My novella, “The Collection” has been named a finalist for the 2019 Maine Literary Awards in Speculative fiction. This nomination will be my second with the Maine Literary Awards and I can’t wait to represent at the official ceremony in June with books in tow.
Beginning last year, I sort of “relaunched” my writing career, changing my website, booking new events, and launching a new book. I’ve been so happy with the results of this. However, I’ve also fallen into the no man’s land of not finding much time to write new material. I have nearly four short stories in the works, three novels, and a series I’d really like to write for Kindle exclusively. I’ve also got a house that’s falling apart, a full time job about to move into summer retail craziness, and family and friends to spend time with. Every writer’s quandary is trying to find time to write and do the other things that are important to them.
The challenge of finding time to write hasn’t been the only thing that I’ve been worrying about though. Every writer wonders how their book will be received once it’s launched. The majority write for ourselves, edit for others, and in the end, have this beautiful fusion that they are pretty contented with. The idea of molding something from your own mind into a collection of words that you can share with the world is still an amazing concept, and can be really nerve-wracking. “The Collection” was a dark story. It’s got it’s neo-gothic feeling, with some psychological thriller and weird fiction thrown in and in the end, it’s about a man trying to come to terms with himself and what he’s been through and (spoilers)…ultimately failing. He learns he isn’t strong enough alone. And that’s just the beginning of his story.
I have been working on a sequel to this which is more in tune with my idea of “Downton Abbey meets American Horror Story”. There’s an upstairs and a downstairs, servants vs. nobility. And there’s the house and the collection of strange objects at home in it. What I’m really looking forward to in this book is the psychology of all these different characters thrown together, what it does to them, and how they react.
Thing is, while I’m super interested in character driven fiction with dark themes and horror elements, I didn’t necessarily think it was everyone’s cup of tea. I was really nervous entering this book into the awards because I figured it might not measure up to a true horror novel or a well-crafted science fiction (both of which are allowed in the speculative fiction category). The book is such a strange amalgamation of themes and genres, I’m not even quite sure what to label it. But I was so, SO happy when I got the email that it had been chosen as a finalist. It’s validation that all the work I’ve done has really paid off. It’s validation that there is an interest for that kind of fiction. There’s hope for a longer, more intricate sequel.
I’d really like to explore other genres too though. I don’t want to just follow this one route for forever. I do want to continue improving in that genre, of course. But, I don’t want it to be the only thing I do. Which is why I have a science-fiction short story I’m working on, and a mystery detective series I’d like to develop for Kindle.
In the end, to make a long story short (TOO LATE!), I’m so thankful for this. And I intend to spend my time bettering my writing and doing the things I want to do, exploring different genres and learning more. This has revitalized those feelings. All of fall into self-doubt here and there. I needed this to jump start me again. So, thank you.
And thank you for those who have supported and continue to support my writing journey as always.
Now. I’ve got a lawn to mow. Trash to take to the dump. Coffee to drink. Books to write.
Until next time,