As an author, we write for the joy of it. We write to inspire. We write because we HAVE to write. But sometimes, we are awarded for that work by an amazing review, a complimentary private email, or an award in a contest.
I'm very excited to share that Patchwork of Me has been named the winner in the category of Women's Lit/Chick-Lit with the 2012 International Book Awards. It was also a finalist in the category of Cross-Genre. These awards mean a great deal to me because of my new foray into this world. I write stories. I don't always think in terms of the genre (which so many authors, editors, publishers will tell you is a terrible way to write). Not thinking of your audience: not so smart. But I didn't think of my book as a mystery (though it has some of those elements). It's not a romance (though again: you definitely get a sense of romantic aspects in the book). Which is why I loved it was honored in the Cross-genre category as for me: that's what it is. But for a man to write a woman's book in 1st person and then win the women's lit category...excites me more than I can say. (Especially when I read so much about what women's lit is...according to which site you are on.) Some say it needs to be a woman author. Other's believe (as I) that it is a female protagonist that deals with empowerment and relationships...not always romantic. If a man does come into the story, he doesn't get as much weight and importance as our heroine. And for me...that's what I believe Patchwork is. Sara deals with her own life without the need to be saved by the knight on the white horse. She's a tough chick (making wrong decisions at time) that learns how to stand on her on.
Perhaps one day these 'genres' we must think in will be gone. Because a book of mine has a gay character doesn't mean it needs to be pushed into the GLBT Book Shelf where others won't go and find it. A story with a female protagonist doesn't mean men can't read and relate as well. (Actually several of my amazon reviews seem to be from men even for this book.)
But with all of that said - I'm eager and anxious to meet new readers (male and female) who will enjoy Sara Butler and her band of 'misfit' friends as they travel through life. I just started a two month blog book tour where I can come in contact with new people and I love that aspect of book marketing in our 'social media conscious world'.
And for all the women who have inspired me - I can't say thanks enough and hope I have portrayed honest relationships with the women and men in this book. And to the people behind the IB Awards - thanks for looking at the work and not the gender of the person doing the writing.