This has been a great week for me professionally. I am concluding a meaningful and moving week with 20 students from our SF Hillel Jewish Student Center, volunteering to help rebuild the Gulf Coast. I have written on this at Left Coast Voices.
It is a totally immersive experience and I have been intensely focused on my students and the New Orleans community. So it is perhaps understandable that I was shocked to receive the electronic reminder that the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award’s results for the Quarter Finals had been released.
I am immensely proud to advance to the final 250. Wycaan Master has been a tremendous ride since I began writing the novel with my then 11-year-old. He was the first to receive the phone call and the news.
Over the next month the manuscript will be read by Publisher Weekly reviewers. They will grade it and the top 50 move into the semifinals. It is quite a thrilling prospect. So far, over the past year, dozens of goodhearted individuals have read and offered feedback. These people, members of the Berkeley Writers Circle, have been amazing and I have no doubt that Wycaan Master is a much better book because of their input. But they are not professionals and I am rather awed that people from such an established magazine are perusing my novel.
Interesting and exciting times.
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He has written two fantasy novels and the first has been entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in January 2012. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (@elfwriter).