It seems that ABNA only likes me on even-numbered years, so thank goodness it’s 2012! If you’re interested, you can read about my roller-caster ride with the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) in this post. Suffice it to say, I’ve already passed “third time’s a charm” with this contest. But it’s a great opportunity for feedback, so I entered again.
I was especially nervous about the pitch round this year, since I’d modified my old query with some “quirky” changes. Last month when they announced the writers who were advancing to the next round based on the pitches, I was so relieved and excited to find my name on the list. It gives me a boost of confidence in the new version of my query.
Since I’ve been testing out a new “chill” attitude this go round (ha – yeah, right!), I tried not to think about the contest until the next round results were announced. When the email popped into my inbox on Tuesday saying the results were posted, my stomach danced a fancy little jig despite my determination to stay calm. So with a trembling hand, I clicked on the list and scrolled down... and there was my name! Hooray, I’m a quarterfinalist again! The two reviews from the Vine Reviewers (the judges for this excerpt stage) had some really happy-grin-inducing things to say about my first two chapters. One even compared it to Christopher Pike, which had me doing backflips.
Now the wait is on while people from Publishers Weekly read and review the entire novel. SCARY! This is where I was cut two years ago, and since I haven’t changed the manuscript, I’m not expecting to progress any further. But you never know, so I will be biting my fingernails to nubs while I pretend I’m totally calm.
In the meantime, Amazon has made the excerpts of all the quarterfinalists available for reading, rating, and reviewing. It’s only the first two chapters of my novel, but if you’ve wanted a sneak peek at what I’m working on, it’s there for you to read. The ratings and reviews don’t affect the judging or impact the contest in any way, but it’s always nice to hear what people think – what works and what doesn’t work.
So if you’re interested in reading my excerpt for The Drama Queen Who Cried Wolf (previously known as The Hunt), click here. ABNA had some ugly formatting issues when they first posted everything. I think they’ve now fixed everyone’s excerpts, but most of the pitches still have problems (missing paragraph breaks, dashes, and apostrophes), so don’t worry about my Product Description/pitch seeming off – I promise I usually punctuate correctly. To read the excerpt, you can use a Kindle, or if you don't have one then either use one of the Kindle apps for your computer or phone (which are free downloads) or the Kindle Cloud Reader option which works through you browser. To download it, click the Buy now with 1-Click button (don’t worry, it’s FREE!) It will ask which reader option you use, so pick the one you want and start reading.
Like I mentioned, at this point reviews and ratings don’t help or hurt me, so I’m not launching a campaign begging people to read and review. I just wanted to let anyone who might be interested know it’s available. And if you do decide to leave a review – I really appreciate your time and effort!
Do you have any experience with the ABNA competition? Do you think you might enter in the future? Is it okay to look like a silly fool while doing my happy dance?