Made it to The Semi Finals of the Amazon Contest!


Announcing 100 Semifinalists

Congratulations to the 100 semifinalists in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest! Download the complete list of 50 General Fiction and 50 Young Adult Fiction entrants moving on to the final round.
We’ll be announcing the 6 finalists on May 22, 2012.
This year’s competition will once again award two grand prizes: one for General Fiction and one for Young Adult Fiction. Each winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance.
It’s just getting more and more exciting, let me tell ya!!

Why Can’t I Talk About This?

I’m extremely thrilled that I finished my long, long rewrite and edit of the second book of my recent stab at War and Peace (if that work was ever a trilogy, which it’s not.) I’m so revved up and excited, I can’t describe it. There’s only one problem. I can’t talk about it.

In case you may have noticed, writing accomplishments rarely come on a regular basis. On the Internet we get press releases about the daily grind of celebrities, movies, TV shows, new tech from Apple, all the time. But when an author finishes writing a manuscript, there’s a cloak of secrecy that gets dropped on it faster than a spy rocket launch. I can’t talk about it.

Why? Well, there’s a chance some person(s) might be reading and considering my work. It’s a spectacular surprise — I’ve never generated this much interest before. I’ve read articles from authors who state this sudden acceleration of the thing they love to do the most comes out of nowhere. It’s like the planets aligning, winning the Mega Millions lottery, and avoiding the Mayan apocalypse — all at once. And in an effort not to jinx things … I can’t talk about it.

What I can talk about is my entry in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest: Zak Corbin: Master of Machines. (Please download the excerpt and review it!!) We’re in the next round of judging. The 250 quarter finalists from each category are being pared down to 50. The whole manuscript for each entry is being read by volunteers from Publishers Weekly. That’s exciting and frightening. I recently read my entire manuscript again (remember, I’ve been hip-deep and head-down with my recent WIP) and I can’t honestly say if it can make the next round. But it has a lot going for it.

  • It’s a YA story 
  • It’s about a teenage boy (that’s different, because most YA fiction is about girls)
  • It takes place in an alternative 1950s (that’s different, because the hot trend is dystopian future stuff)
  • It has a nice mix of characters. The adults are not your typical YA types who are either unavailable, unreliable or out to lunch)
  • The romantic interest for the boy is fairly strong-willed, independent and talented
  • There’s a helluva robot battle at the end

Having an entry reach this round of a huge contest is exciting. It is also, perhaps, short-lived. So this is the best time when I can showcase other work to potential interests. There’s only one problem.

I can’t talk about it.

Zak Corbin Makes it to Quarterfinals of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest

After much hair-pulling and eyestrain, I looked on the Amazon site ( and lo and behold, my young adult story ZAK CORBIN: MASTER OF MACHINES made it to the quarter finals!  Holy halibut!
So what does this mean?  It means now I have to conduct some kind of publicity campaign to get Amazon readers to look at my entry’s excerpt and comment on it.  I’ll be posting the information as soon as I figure out how that is supposed to happen.
All hail our robot overlords!