Friday, March 19, 2010

F³A: ABNA Countdown


Tuesday is the day I find out my fate in the ABNA contest (for my new readers that's Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award). I went through this last year. Same crap. I made it this far and that's it. I video taped by demise, do you remember?

This year I'm going to video again, but I'm truly hoping for a different outcome. Here are the reasons I think I may have a chance:

Just the fact that there is a YA category ups my chances. Of course, it ups everyone's chances that wrote YA.

Perusing the names of the novels entered, there seem to be a lot of fantasy novels. Since mine is not fantasy, that might give it a better chance.

There are no vampires or wizards in my book.

Hopefully a good pitch does not necessarily mean a good novel.

The writing stands up IMHO. My abilities since the first ABNA have drastically improved.

Okay, that said, here are some things I'm worried about:

I've heard that the vine reviewers were raving about the quality of the YA pieces in the contest this year, meaning, stiff competition.

There is always a crap shoot when it comes to reviewers. My upper, edgy YA has violence, language, drug and sexual content. Am I going to get some hardcore Christian reviewer that would never want their teen to read stuff like that?

Maybe Penguin is looking for a fantasy. One with a vampire or a wizard.

The action does not start right away.

Since I wrote it during Nano, it could have probably used more editing.

So, do I think I'll get in? I have no idea. I'm hoping, wishing, praying, rubbing a rabbit foot, throwing salt over my shoulder, with a four leaf clover in my pocket (I am NOT wearing last year's lucky socks).

Wish me luck. And for your reading please, a snippet from my novel, Lockdown:

I searched faces, behind the blood and the tears, but couldn’t find Cameron. I started calling his name, “Cameron! Cameron!” His tall frame should have stuck out in the crowd, as he would have towered above the rest; yet, he was nowhere to be found.

I felt eyes bore into me. I looked around to familiar faces staring at me in what? Fear? Panic? Why? At the time it made no sense. None at all. Not until I saw the weird Christian girl. She looked like she was in shock. A police officer had an arm around her shoulder, guiding her forward, as if she couldn’t move without his help.

I ran toward them, scanned the hill thinking there had to be more coming. I saw nothing. Just more cops poised and ready for action. I ran up behind her, grabbed her shoulder. She stopped, turned, looked at me with vacant eyes. I tried to remember her name. I couldn’t. Tear tracks ran through the dried blood on her face. She reminded me of one of those grotesque sad clowns, creepy, yet heartbreaking. Her clothes were covered with blood and God only new what else. “Cameron Pritchard. You know him, right?”

She merely nodded.

“Is he coming? Have you seen him?”

She shook her head.

“What? You haven’t seen him? Do you know where he is?”

“He, he,” she hung her head and began weeping, hard and heavy like rain. “He didn’t make it,” she said. Then she stretched her shirt out in front of her and looked up at me.

At first, I didn't get it. I stared into her tear filled eyes, then looked down at her shirt. That’s when I realized. She was telling me that was Cameron saturating her shirt, covering her face.


(and even now I see editing to be done. It is a never ending job. sigh.)

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John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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