Just a reminder to all that the next phase of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest will soon be coming to a close. You can download, read and review my excerpt for VANQUISH here. On April 16th, the Semifinalists will be announced. The Quarterfinalists’ entries will each be read and reviewed by Publishers Weekly, then based on those grades and scores from the excerpts and the pitches, the Amazon judges will come up with the Semifinalists.– only five from each of the five categories.
Yes, it’s nerve-wracking. It’s really just a contest, the odds of getting to the next levels are harder this year than in previous contests. Last year, there were just two categories: General Fiction and Young Adult. Now there are five (for each of the five Amazon imprints) and there will only be 5 semifinalists per category (instead of the twenty five per category last year).
The process always seems to change and fluctuate each year. Some entries are heavily reviewed, although there is no weight given to these reviews in the judging (so it’s claimed). One of my Amazon vine excerpt reviews (the first phase of judging) was fixated on language. The reviewer stated that there was too much modern language in the story and not enough 1940s jargon. It’s something none of my beta readers noted. However, this excerpt review appears on my book listing on Amazon’s page. Some people will read that, I guess.
So that’s how the contest rolls. The good news is that I will have a PW review out of this when this phase is done, something I hope can carry me through another round of queries with possible publishers and agents. It will be nice for someone to find VANQUISH as enjoyable to read as it was to write.
It is the spring of 1940 and the Battle of Britain is about to be unleashed in a way never seen before. In a different take on history, the First World War lasted for almost twenty years; a terrible stalemate because the United States refused to take sides. So many men were lost and killed in that conflict that, in desperation, England allows women to serve in the military as front-line troops, sailors and pilots. Briley Bannatyne, a young machinist, lives in the shadow of her favored older brother, Mackinley. She enlists in Britain’s Air Militia—not for glory or duty—but to provide for her family when her brother is badly injured in a plane crash. As her fantastic adventure begins, there are battles with pirates and flying battleships. Striking up a friendship with a captured pirate named Kendrick, Briley suffers terror and tragedy at the onset of one of the greatest air battles of all time.