Last week, I found out that my book placed in The International Book Awards 2011 held in Los Angeles! How cool, right? It was named a finalist in the Children’s Picture Book – Soft Cover Fiction category, to be specific. There were only four other books that received that distinction so I am pretty proud.
It’s not the award itself that sparks a sense of accomplishment as much as it is the fact that I produced this book on my own. The concept for the book the story and the production of it all took about two years of my life. A life–I should note—already filled with a lot of chaos. I didn’t have any agent, or big publishing house covering the expenses, the project management, the artist coordination or the marketing. It was just me. I wrote the story, sought and filled the position of illustrator (more than once), crafted the storyboards, edited the proofs with help from friends and family, wrote the press releases, booked the story appearances and entered the IBA contest. It was a ton of work.
The reward comes in the form of satisfaction. (I wish I could say in money but that simply isn’t the case.) I never expected to become the next J.K. Rowling. Those chances are one in 100 million. But, I did always want to write a book of my own that I could leave behind for my children as a legacy or memory – whatever you want to call it. It’s something their mom did for them.
Of course, the illustrations are 100% humbly credited to the talented artist who collaborated on the project, Sunny Colaneri. She brought my creative vision to life – which is what good illustrators do! She made it seem effortless and easy, although I know it couldn’t have been. Her mind’s eye saw into my imagination and gave the words on the page a foundation. The detail and expression behind every image is worth 1,000 words. To her, I am grateful and I hope that this book has provided her a sense of accomplishment and pride as well.
People have asked if I would turn the book into a series or when I will write another. I just don’t know. I need some time to coast after such an intense run. I have a full-time job, a part-time blogging hobby, and most of all a family who needs all the extra time and attention I can devote to them.
Writing a book and scoring top honors in an international competition is more than I could have envisioned for myself five years ago. For that, I am happy and would also encourage anyone who wants to tackle something like that themselves to do so – full throttle.
It’s amazing how time flies.
For a full listing of the books that won and placed in the IBA 2011 Click here
- Kangaroo’s Shoes Named Finalist in The International Book Awards 2011 (kangaroobooks.com)
- JK Rowling reveals her favourite Harry Potter character (guardian.co.uk)