Before I start a June full* of Pride-themed blog posts, I wanted to share an update on my Oregon Book Award nomination. It was a huge honor to be named a finalist and really exciting to attend the Oregon Book Award ceremony for the first time, but I didn't end up winning. The winner of Best Young Adult Novel was Shea Ernshaw for The Wicked Deep. In her acceptance speech, she mentioned querying agents when she was ten or twelve years old, so it was clear she's been working on her writing for a while. It was pretty amazing to even be included in the same category as Shea and the other finalists, Fonda Lee and Emily Suvada, especially considering this was my first novel and was self-published without a professional editor touching it.
The most impressive part of the Oregon Book Award ceremony, though, was how many of my friends came out to support me. Five book club members, my stepsister and brother-in-law, and one of my coworkers joined my girlfriend and me in the crowd, and you better believe my friends made a ruckus when my book was announced. <3 <3 <3
It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since my book came out. Right now, I'm working on a second novel (not a sequel, but still queer YA). I've learned so much about publishing, writing, and marketing in the last year. Look for blog posts later this summer with more info about what I've learned! And don't forget - you too can go from an unpublished writer to an award finalist in a year! You just have to start writing now. My current goal is writing 10 minutes a day. It's a small goal, so it doesn't feel overwhelming, and I often find myself sticking with the work for more than ten minutes. Even when I don't write longer, I feel like I'm getting to know the characters better each time, and the word count really adds up.
Overall, being nominated for an Oregon Book Award was such a wonderful experience. I got great feedback from the judges, and just feel so lucky and loved. Thank you all for your support!
* Regular followers of my blog will recognize that "full" is probably an overstatement here.
I like cats, feminism, queers, making things and writing, apparently.