In September, I received notice that my book, The Caging at Deadwater Manor, won an Honorable Mention Award in YA Horror with Readers' Favorite. It was around 11 p.m. when I opened the email that night, and as you can imagine, I couldn't sleep! I mean, I'm a debut novelist. How in the world did I win an award?
The event started last Friday night at The Regency Hotel in Miami. A reception was held in the evening where the books were displayed on a counter near check in with an adjacent bar and seating area. Numerous authors attended. It was great to hear about all of their books and the stories behind them. I met author Ju Ephraime and spent quite a while talking with her.
After, we were escorted to a conference room where we saw presentations from various speakers on marketing from doing podcasts to social media posts. They were excellent, and I plan on using many of the resources provided.
Speaking of which, I have to say how honored I felt even being in the same room with these tremendously talented people from authors to illustrators. Some have been published for many years and were a wealth of knowledge. All were passionate about their books and mine, too. That's the one thing I've learned since I started this journey. Authors are supportive of each other and always willing to help. I love this positive community.
The award ceremony involved going on stage, shaking hands with the Readers' Favorite representative (Mark Wayne Adams), and having my picture taken - all on live stream. I have to admit, I was a bit concerned with tripping or doing something stupid at first, but then I decided not worry about it - this was my night and I was going to enjoy it. And I did (and luckily didn't land on my face! Haha!).
After the stage, we were escorted to another area for more photography and press interviews. It was certainly a night I will always remember. It felt surreal to be recognized for this book -- one that my dad inspired. He passed before seeing the book published, but I know he was up there on that stage with me, grinning and proud! Love you, Dad.