Thursday, February 25, 2010

I made it!

Or, I should really say my novel INTO THE SUNSET made it through to the next round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) contest.

Amazon narrowed the field of 5,000 entries down to 1,000 based on a (up to) 300-word pitch. So now I move on to the second round, where two reviews of my 5,000 word excerpt (the prologue and first two chapters) will determine if I made it to the quarterfinals. Only 250 move forward. The next date to worry about is March 23, when the quarterfinal list is released. Amazon readers will then get to read and review these excerpts.

So for now...I resume waiting.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Was That David Byrne or KD Lang at the Olympics?

I know it's been a while since the Olympics opening ceremony, but is it just me, or did KD Lang look like she borrowed David Byrne's Big Suit?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Waiting is the hardest part...

Two days to go until Amazon announces the 1,000 novels that make it to the next round in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) contest.

On Feb. 25, I will find out if my pitch was good enough to make the cut and send me to the second round. If so, then my 5,000 word excerpt will be judged as follows:

Between February 25, 2010 and March 14, 2010, our expert reviewers, including Amazon editors and at least one Amazon Top Reviewer, will review and judge the Excerpts of each second round Entry. The expert reviewers rate each Excerpt on a scale of 1 to 5 on each of the following criteria:

a) Overall Strength of Excerpt
b) Prose/Style
c) Plot/Hook
d) Originality of Idea

So for now, I wait. Meanwhile, here's some Tom Petty and Eddie Vedder.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New U2 music on the way

Bono has told Irish newspaper the Irish Independent that a new U2 album, titled Songs of Ascent, will be available in June. I remember reading that this was the plan when last year's No Line On the Horizon was released. The names of some of the tracks rumored to be on the new CD are: "Winter" (which is on the soundtrack to the film "Brothers"), “Every Breaking Wave," "If I Could Live My Life Again," "Love Is All We Have Left," "Mercy," "Lead Me In The Way I Should Go," "You Can’t Give Away Your Heart," and "Kingdom Of Your Love."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

My Pitch

The first round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) contest is "the pitch." This is the short, quick description, or "hook," that you need to describe your book. Similar to the sell copy on the back cover of a book, it is also known as the "elevator pitch"—what you would tell an agent or editor if you had him or her alone in an elevator for a minute.

Here is my pitch for Into the Sunset, my comic novel that is entered in the ABNA:

Meet Wayne Benson. He's not a senior citizen. He doesn't require nursing care. He isn't even retired. But this healthy 30-year-old bachelor believes the comfortable life of The Sunset, an assisted-living retirement community, would be a soothing alternative to his young, hectic lifestyle.

Everything he desires—gourmet meals, laundry service, camaraderie, tranquility—is available for one all-inclusive monthly fee. The only problem? He isn't the required minimum age of sixty-two. So, he dons theatrical make-up and a grey wig to age himself forty years, and is immediately accepted into The Sunset. Now all he has to do is live a peaceful life.

Will everything go as smoothly as planned? Of course not! His elderly love interest becomes suspicious of his under-cover-of-darkness-only lovemaking, his neighbor wants to go to strip clubs and experiment with Viagra®, the head of security is more interested in extortion than security, and the woman who manages The Sunset may be onto his scheme. Can Wayne survive old age?

Amazon editors will read the pitches of the 5,000 entries. They will choose 1,000, and move them to the second round. These results will be announced Feb. 25.

Monday, February 01, 2010


This is why I've been waiting for an Apple e-book reader: