I opened up my email today and was kind of stunned.
The Woodcutter was named by the Reader Views Literary Awards as their 1st Place Fantasy Book.
So, that was super cool.
But then there was a second email.
The judges decided to honor The Woodcutter with the Garcia Award for the Best Fiction Book of the Year.
I didn't quite get the enormity of it until I read the fine print - the winner was chosen from all first place winners in all the fiction categories.
My little book.
It took me a year to write The Woodcutter and four years to finally get it published. Every six months during that time was a new rejection letter, someone else telling me that, based upon my synopsis, my book wasn't good enough. It wasn't "right". It didn't "fit". In fact, just this week I got word that my book hadn't made it past the 1st round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, which is based not upon your book, but upon the quality of a 1,000 word pitch, the irony being that if I was good at pitching, I probably wouldn't be self-published.
And then came the Reader Views awards and my book was evaluated upon its own merits. It had to stand on its own legs, no bells or pony shows allowed. The judges sat down and they actually read my book.
And when they did, the affirmed something that I have known since the first day I wrote a scene about a monster in my Anatomy 101 notebook, something I knew as I fell in love with a hero big enough to fight not just the monster on the page but the monsters who were making me want to run away from my life and the monsters sucking my spirit. They fell in love with the Woodcutter just as I did with every word my fingers found.
I am honored and touched and moved and... And it just means so much.