|Christ! He looks depressed. Another ABNA entrant?|
Now that I've gotten out everything I'm supposed to say as a semifinalist who didn't make it to the quarterfinals, congrats to everyone who is moving on. I have two particular favorites that I'm keeping an eye on in the next round, Bob Simms' The Young Demon Keeper (Fantasy - General) and Phyllis Smith's I am Livia (Historical Fiction - General). Both are as different as day and night, but told with an amazing, memorable voice. Read them if you get a chance. There are now 100 quarterfinalists, 50 from each category. On May 24, they will be weeded down to just six. Geez. Just six from 10,000. All of us who made it this far are awaiting the dreaded Publishers Weekly review. I'm not sure, but I think only the quarterfinalists will have theirs automatically posted. If mine is anything I want to see the light of day, I'll use it for Sultana's description on Amazon. But being cut at this point sort of implies that the PW reviewer didn't like my book. Can't think he or she has too much good to say. So unfair. I'm just gonna sit here and pout about that for a bit.
On the other hand, I could just go on with my life as I have been doing throughout this contest. There's all that blogging and tweeting. There's always those posts to organize on four other blogs. I've got two books that need constant promoting and selling. Lest, I forget there is also that book that's coming out this fall that I should continue editing and revising. And yeah, there's that 9 am - 5pm thing called my job (more like 7pm these days), and a life beyond work and books, etc. So I'll probably be a little too busy to bitch and moan about being eliminated. But I can promise two things: I will be rooting for my two remaining favorites in ABNA 2011 and I will be entering ABNA 2012. Because they're making me, of course!
Post script: Remember I mentioned that PW review? To say that it's harsh would be the under-fucking-statement of this or any century. I take consolation that this is the same PW that I don't have a high opinion of in the first place for this reason (maybe if I'd paid for a review it would have gone better?) I also keep in mind that this is the opinion of one
Not many readers of this uninspired historical novel will welcome the news at the very end that a sequel is in the works. While the author’s chosen time period, 13th-century Moorish Spain, is not an over-tapped one, the narrative reads more like a warmed-over romance novel populated by tissue-thin characters than a probing look at the personalities and events of the time. The focal figure is Fatima bint Muhammad, daughter of the second Sultan of Gharnatah (Granada), who is first encountered as a child and new bride in a politically-expedient marriage. She is abducted from her bed by retainers of her mother, Aisha bint Ibrahim, from whom she was separated. But, her reunion with her mother is short-lived when violence claims Aisha’s life. The remainder of the book interweaves Fatima’s coming-of-age and her evolving relationship with her husband (and cousin) Abu Said Faraj ibn Ismail with the military and political developments of the region between 1265 and 1279. Lackluster and ungrammatical prose (“A feeling of dread suddenly implanted itself in her mind. At first, she did not understand what it meant, but it squeezed at her heart like a mist of dread that enshrouding her.”) doesn’t help.