So, last week was quite an exciting one. The printer’s proof of Bloody Waters arriving the day before the book received an Aurealis award nomination. I have been receiving a lot of questions about both of these events, so let me answer them here.
The easy one first: Bloody Waters will be available in print in April. Maybe as early as next week. I will tell you how and where as soon as I know, BELIEVE ME.
Now, as for the award nomination…
False modesty aside, I was utterly surprised to have been nominated. I didn’t even know that the shortlist was due to be announced. I knew that the Australian Shadows list was due the following day, but Aurealis completely blindsided me. I didn’t really think I’d get a look-in: the list of eligible works was full of really strong books by much better-established writers with big time publishers. I did not believe that my little ebook would be a contender.
But of course, three of the four books on the list were ebooks. None of them are by big name publishers. If you look at some of the other categories, you’ll notice a number of self-published works are up for awards, too. We’ve been hearing a lot about the changing world of publishing over the last couple of years and I think that this year’s short-list is proof of that.
This is wonderful and terrifying. As a horror writer, I approve.
What do I think my chances are? 25%. Jason Nahrung, who has two books nominated, has a 50% chance. There’s a 75% chance that someone named Jason will take the shard. I’m an engineer, okay? I can play numbers all day. The book that I thought would be favourite-to-win didn’t make it onto the shortlist, so that should tell you how much my opinion is worth.
The competition: as I mentioned, Bloody Waters is up against two books by Jason Nahrung, Salvage and Blood And Dust, and Perfections, by Kirstyn McDermott. I haven’t read any of these books yet, but two of the books were in my to-read pile even before the shortlist was announced.
I was privileged enough to meet both Kirstyn and Jason at Oz Horror Con earlier this year and I found them to be friendly, generous, passionate and intelligent. Prior to that, I knew them only by their short fiction, which is intimidatingly good.
What would an award mean to my career? Well, I don’t know. Publicity for the book, which will hopefully lead to some sales and some new readers. Fame and fortune? dude, I’m already famous. I have an internet blog and everything.
Let me leave you with a recommendation: go buy the other books and decide for yourself which is the best of the four books. Jason and Kirstyn both deserve it.