So the AMAZON BREAKTHROUGH NOVEL AWARD contest closed its doors a couple days back and, like I said, I'm in. A couple of people have asked me why. Theoretically I don't need to participate and, if I don't make it to the semi-finals, I stand to get some egg on my face considering I'm a pro and most who enter aren't.
There seem to be a lot more negatives than positives if you look at it soberly.
Luckily I try not to look at things that way unless forced. The truth is, I like contests. They have edges and lids. Mostly they can't be cheated and, at the end, they give you something. Money, a trophy, a nice jacket- something. And it's not like gambling, not the roulette or craps kind anyway. The only luck involved is in which readers and judges get hold of the thing. That's pretty much a constant, in contest or out. We rise or fall on the tastes of editors at least initially.
The other reason is sort of sentimental. The only unencumbered novel I had that could be submitted was the first one I ever wrote (no, I'm not telling the title. that's not allowed until after the first cut). The Great Heinlein has rules about what to do with what you write. Here they are:
1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.
These rules were first published in an essay entitled "On the Writing of Speculative Fiction" in 1947. That's several decades before I was even a glimmer but, y'know, rules are rules.
This particular book was first drafted years ago but has been upgraded since. Are my newer works better? I dunno. Possibly. Possibly not. I can't make a differentiation between it and my latter stuff any more than I could choose between any biological offspring I might help to produce. I am a better writer now, certainly, but there's something to be said for fun and passion. Bottom line: I think it deserves a shot.
So, we're in. Let's see how long the kid lasts.
I'm a big boy. My face can handle some eggs.
Causes Geoffrey Thorne Supports
Operation USA, Greenpeace, Doctors Without Borders,