Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Writing Wednesday: Support and Gratitude

Last week I talked about my novel making it to the quarter finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition and how overwhelmed I felt just reading the reviewer's generous feedback (I'm still speechless when I think about it). But this week brought a whole new round of things to be grateful for.

In, what was to me, a bold move, I posted the link to the Amazon.com page where people can read the first three chapters of my book as part of the ABNA competition (you can find it here). A dear friend of mine (Hope of Hope-Full Universe, an amazing artist, you should check out her page), reposted the link. One of her friends, a reporter for our local newspaper, saw the link and immediately emailed me, asking me to call her the next day. My heart started thumping.

The next day, in what I thought was an audacious move, I actually called the reporter back. I told her that I didn't think this was particularly newsworthy because it was only the quarter finals. She asked me how many people had entered the competition. Ten thousand, I replied. And how many are in it now? she asked. Five hundred, I answered. This is newsworthy, she said. So we did a quick interview and arranged for a photographer for the next day (my first thought was EEK, my house is a mess, can we meet at Starbucks?).  I sent her the Amazon link, my synopsis, etc. Within an hour she emailed me back and asked it it was okay to print the entire first chapter in the paper because she loved it and thought her readers would too, and could we make it the Saturday Spotlight?

Ummm, okay.... My heart raced. I thought this was all good experience for when I actually publish a book, right? So I cleaned up for the photographer, who was lovely and took lots of pictures and told me I was photogenic (smile - I was so nervous).

On Friday night I was checking out the on line version of the paper and saw my article! It was such a surprise. There I was, a nice picture of me, some stuff about the competition, etc, and my first chapter. (You can find the article here.) I was thrilled. I sent my husband out to get the paper, thinking they'd changed their mind about the date, but I wasn't in the print version.

Saturday morning, my husband went and got the paper for me. You're definitely in this one, he said, and showed me the paper. On the front page, right under where it says Kamloops Daily News, was a headline blaring: "Is this the next JK Rowling? We hope so." And there was my picture beside it, saying where the article was. I was floored. JK Rowling????

I opened the paper to the Entertainment section and there I was. I mean, THERE I WAS. A picture of me, just me, taking up the whole page, again with the JK Rowling headline. I almost fell over. I turned the page, and there I was again, the picture and the article from on-line, taking up most of the second page. Wow. Needless to say, I am still stunned.

One of the most important things I've realized about all this is it so wonderful to live in such an amazingly supportive community like Kamloops. Even if I get no further in this competition, I will appreciate and treasure that. And the extraordinary friends who understood when seeing the article in print like that, with that particular headline, made me cry. Why being linked to JK Rowling was crazy enough, but why the "We hope so" after it was even more meaningful. And all of the people who have phoned and emailed to say they loved the chapter, they want more, and is there a way they can help me in this competition? I am incredibly lucky to know that I have people behind me, cheering me on - it's been declared on the front page of our paper. Most people don't get such obvious and public encouragement, especially so early on. I would like to publicly thank The Kamloops Daily News, Catherine Litt, the reporter, and Murray Mitchell, the photographer, for this.

8 comments:

  1. We know so! So Congratulations Coreena! Let it wrap you in a big love hug!

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  2. Well deserved! I swear I'm as excited as you and without the overwhelm or doubt. Go, Coreena, Go!! Congrats

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    1. Thanks Janet, I appreciate all of the encouragement.

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  3. ps. I do think you ought to add photos of teh other two pages in the paper!!! To really emphasize the surprise upon seeing the paper! ~smile~

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    1. I thought about it, but was too nervous ~smile~

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