Delighted to Be Back in Breakthrough Novel Award Contention

Joy joy joy! Thanks to my line editor Debbie Frontiera, comments from last year’s ABNA judges and helpful beta-reader input my first novel “More Than You Think You Know,” formerly titled “Loop Dee Doo,” was revised, polished and re-entered in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. Just discovered I’ve made it through the pitch round into the second round, in which judges read a 5,000-word excerpt to determine quarterfinalists. In the final phase voting goes public to choose the winner.

The most helpful aspect of the next round is more feedback. Just can’t get enough! One of the things I’ve learned is that several beta readers aren’t enough. You need dozens of people to read your novel before you submit it to publishers or literary agents because you’ll only garner a handful of responses. Some volunteers no matter how willing at the outset can’t find the time, don’t want to tell you about the parts of the book they didn’t like or for other reasons don’t get back to you with the constructive criticism so vital to shaping the best possible book you can produce. For my second novel, “Yoga for Smokers,” a work in progress, I’ll definitely be seeking out critique groups and other formats that allow me to give and receive more constructive comments. In the meantime, I’m celebrating this success with gratitude for all who’ve helped me along the way, from encouraging public-school educators to Grandma Boschard, who taught me how to type.

Here are the second-round entrants in the General Fiction category:

Here’s the link containing all the very happy novelists in varied genres whose pitches passed the test:

Congratulations to everyone who cleared the first hurdle. Feels good, doesn’t it? For those who didn’t make it, may this be an opportunity to check out the successful pitches and continue to perfect your own – it’s one of the trickiest parts of this business. And for those still dreaming about or in the midst of crafting that first novel, get going! The 2015 ABNA entry deadline is closer than you think …

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