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In Which I Celebrate Myself, and Sing Myself
May 27, 2010 - 1:50am


At the BookExpo America conference in New York City this week, the winners of the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards were announced, for the “best independently published works from 2009…selected by a panel of librarian and bookseller judges.” I’m happy and honored to be able to say that my novel won silver in the historical fiction category.

As I might have mentioned last week, the book also won this year’s Eric Hoffer Award in the category for books from publishers with fewer than 24 titles per year. The award “honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers.”

And just to recap, a few months ago it won the Delta Award from the Friends of Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Previous awardees include Senator Paul Simon, Richard “Dick” Clayton Gregory, and Robert Coover.

If I haven’t done it already, I want to publicly thank publisher David Memmott at Wordcraft of Oregon, a fine independent literary press, for giving me a chance. Also, novelist Duff Brenna, who served as my editor, and my pal Rory, who first put me in touch with the guy who knew a guy.

Listen, believe me, it distresses me to have to advertise myself like this. Everyone who knows me knows I’m reticent and sweetly bashful. But when there’s momentum, and you’re healthy and working, and the writing muscles are warmed up, and you may have just seen the last of the attention, nice as it was, given a previous multi-year project, you gotta step up, at least once, all randy-like, and yawp: Hug a root, Kesey, wherever you are, drinks are on me.


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