On a particularly drab and grey Wednesday morning, this past week, as I was leaving the hospital where I work, after a fairly intense ICU shift, I did my customary email check while I was waiting for the car to warm up. I received an email message that I am still kind of blown away by but, as the gravity of it dawns upon me, the more blown away I have become.
I have been advised that my 2012 novel, Gifts of the Peramangk, has been nominated as a finalist in the contemporary fiction category of the 2014 EPIC Awards.
EPIC - the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition - was incorporated in 1998 to provide a strong voice for electronic publishing. Once an authors' organization, EPIC has expanded to include hundreds of professionals from all facets of the electronic publishing industry: authors, publishers, editors, artists, and others. EPICs members work together in a unique collaboration to further the industry both throughout the United States and the world.
Since its genesis, EPICs renown has grown and it has become an industry body known for its advocacy, integrity and its commitment to the digital and print publishing industry.
Several months ago, my publisher approached me about the EPICs and suggested that we should submit an entry to the competition. I had little to no expectation that Gifts of the Peramangk would proceed beyond the first stage of the judging process, given that there are thousands upon thousands of entries and a rigorous judging process. And, when I received the news, I couldn't quite believe it. I received a certificate of nomination from the judging panel and was advised that the nominees would be listed at the homepage shortly - which they now have been.
I am vying with two other entrants for the EPIC Award for contemporary fiction - David Desmond and his satirical novel Oliver Booth and the Evil Socialite and K.Z. Snow and her powerful drama Xylophone - both of which have earned critical acclaim respectively. They are titles I am really proud to be standing alongside.
The only kicker in all of this is that, now, there is a wait for us all. The Awards will be announced on March 14th, 2014 during the annual EPICon weekend, to be held in San Antonio, Texas. The convention itself is a three day event with innumerable opportunities for industry professionals, authors, publishers, editors, cover artists and literary agents to meet and network.
In speaking to my parents on the phone this week, my Mum actually asked me if I was considering going - and for about an 8th of a second, I seriously considered it. But, in doing some quick mental calculations, the financial and logistical factors in my getting from Adelaide, Australia to the United States for the convention and awards ceremony are too vast for me to achieve. At this point, I can't see how I could possibly go.
But the thought was there...
So, yeah...I am beyond buzzed by all of this. I am under no illusions that this will lead to a huge surge in sales or put me on the path to ridiculous fame and fortune. But what it does do is remind me that the 2 years I put into Gifts of the Peramangk - the meticulous research, the hours of pouring over stories of utter devastation that was wrought on Aboriginal Australians, the many occasions of self doubt as to whether I could actually write this novel.
To be recognized by a group of peers in such a way, is something that I will forever cherish.