Just a quick note to mention how happy I was to see The Journeyman reviewed in Publishers Weekly. Among several kind observations, the book was described as an “intense debut” and I was called “an author to watch.”
I’ll take it.
An American Libraries Magazine post about the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project folks winning a John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award features the grim mug of yours truly sporting a rare smile. The piece includes two pieces of visual evidence proving that I’m perfectly capable of grinning, in fact.
Truly a face made for text.
In all seriousness, though, the nod to Team STBF for their efforts is much deserved. You’ll not find a more committed, creative, or capable group, and I’m really looking forward to my adventures with them over the coming months as we try to spread word about The Journeyman to libraries and patrons all over Illinois.
After making the finals in the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project, it’s been quite a wait to get to the ceremony. As you can see above and in this video of the magic moment, The Journeyman won.
(Yes, that’s my mom you hear kvelling in the background.)
So, wow. The morning began here, and then we capped off the evening with an absolutely breathtaking and heartrending production of Carousel at Lyric Opera. I have to say: together with the day I got married, this was one of the best days of my life. May you all have at least one like it. (And I can’t wait to see what the next year of library talks and readings brings.)
Thank you, Illinois Library Association and Illinois librarians. This means more than you know.
It really doesn’t get much better than this: I’m one of three finalists in the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project, which is sponsored by the state’s libraries. Of any contest in which I’ve entered The Journeyman, this one’s the most important to me.
I love libraries. I love librarians.
I was sponsored by librarian Stuart Griner and the Edgewater branch of the Chicago Public Library system. (Worth noting: Stuart agreed to take a look at my book only a week before the contest deadline, which I’d just found out about when I called, desperate, and he happened to be the one who picked up the phone.)
The judges are librarians, whose opinions top the importance hierarchy, as far as I’m concerned. (Little-kid me, headed to the check-out desk with Robert the Rose Horse and The Great Pie Robbery tucked under his arm, would have agreed way back when, too.)
They announce the winner at a reception at the Illinois Library Association‘s offices in Chicago on April 16.
Fingers crossed, please, anyone who’s willing. But even if this is as far as I make it, I’m truly honored to be included with the other finalists.
Just a few random updates.
First off, I’m very excited to finally have the print version of The Commons: Book 1: The Journeyman available. It’s currently on offer domestically from Amazon, but an international paper version is hot on its heels and should be ready in a week or two. Already, those who’ve seen it are asking about the little band of mysterious icons on the back cover, which are tossed in without any explanation.
Those are the handiwork of cover artist and designer Dan Fernandez, who’s done a beautiful job on the full book package. Each icon represents a different character, item, or aspect of the novel. Dan’s created some wondrous abstract art based on those, the first of which plays up the peacock (at the top of this post, full version here). I couldn’t be happier with Dan’s work, and I look forward to unveiling more of it in future posts.
Meanwhile, last week found me signing my first-ever autographed copy. A colleague of mine, Sheneen Landry, asked for it. Another colleague, Susan Hardy, captured the moment for posterity.
Having a print version in hand also allowed me to start peppering my neighborhood Little Free Libraries with copies, the first of which got dropped into a local box this past Saturday night. (I left a note on the inside cover asking my reader neighbors to keep it circulating and to drop me a line if they enjoyed it (and even if they didn’t).
Last, but not least, are a few recognition and review highlights. I’m proud to have received an indieBRAG medallion for The Journeyman, and I’m just as happy to see a couple of generous reviews from the links of blogger Jordan Binkerd and fellow fantasy author Kyra Dune. Reviews are the lifeblood of any authorial effort, so I freely admit I can’t get enough of them.
That is all, friends. Take care, and, as always, thank you for your support and attention.
I’ve been very happy with the generous and kind reviews The Commons 1: The Journeyman has been getting on Amazon and Goodreads, among other other places. But the folks at Awesome Indies have taken it to another level entirely, with one write-up that gave it “an extremely enthusiastic five stars” and another that called it “something truly extraordinary.”
Now they’ve got me dancing a little jig in my living room, having awarded the book a Seal of Excellence.
That is why we write.