It has been 12 months since I won my first award, the Eric Hoffer Book Award for YA category, and I am still glowing from the rush of seeing my name in print on the awards page.
I do not subscribe to the solitary writer image. I have facilitated the Berkeley Writers Group for several years, and I am an active member of the California Writer’s Group. I have a cadre of supportive writer friends and feel confident in my trajectory.
The Wycaan Master series is housed with a small publisher, Tourmaline Books, which is always gratifying and who are very supportive. But they acknowledge and encourage me to look for a bigger house.
But there was something very powerful in receiving an award. I have got close before, reaching the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award’s quarterfinal twice. I have spoken a couple of times before packed rooms and have a wonderful relationship with readers through this blog and my @elfwriter twitter feed.
And yet, to be able to introduce myself as an award-winning author gives instant credibility and I can see this in the reaction of the poor bugger I’ve cornered.
I treasure the reviews I receive on Amazon and the emails and tweets from dedicated readers. I couldn’t help but stare in amazement when I saw a person on the BART (Bay Area train) actually sitting and reading At The Walls Of Galbrieth.
It is important to be recognized to garner the recognition and legitimacy that it gives: for your readers and especially for you the aspiring author.
Alon Shalev is the author of the 2013 Eric Hoffer YA Book Award winner, At The Walls of Galbrieth, The First Decree, and Ashbar – Wycaan Master Book 3 – all released by Tourmaline Books. Shalev is also the author of three social justice-themed novels including Unwanted Heroes. He swears there is a connection. More at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@elfwriter). Hang out with Alon on Google+