I got an email yesterday regarding the Debut Dagger short-list…I’m not on it. I know most people say they don’t ever really expect to be nominated for awards or anything like that, and for the most part with me, that’s true. But I’ve been riding that Debut Dagger nomination from 2003 for all it’s worth and really expected to make it this time as well.
At the time, and until a couple of years ago, that’s all I ha going for me writing-wise. Now I’ve published some shorts, and made some inroads in the business, and generally aquired a reputation (not saying whether it’s good or bad) based on things other than the DD. So I figured the best way to celebrate all of the progress I made was to submit th new book I’d written. It’s a better book. Longer, deeper, more skillfully executed. The characters are better developed, the plot more coherent, and the reception from readers generally favorable. But it didn’t make the shortlist.
Yet I book I wrote on a lark when I was 24, that’s a good 10k words under the minimum word count for a standard novel, and with pretty one dimmensional characters, and a rambling, virtually byzantine plot, that is so far away from what the CWA traditionally recognizes, was shortlisted. I’m very, very confused.
And it’s not just this event that makes me wonder what’s going on. I’ve detailed my struggle with the query for this stupid book that has received absolutely no lovin’ from the industry even though, again, most people find it intriguing and entertaining and well-written.
I guess it only goes to show how screwy this whole business can be. My faith may be dinged a bit, but I’m not giving up. I still have my dillusional optimism and my jovial nature and a few days ago I finished a huge revision of the book for a great agent who has expressed excitement in the project.
And I’m still better than this guy.