First, let me apologize for not posting last week. Like everyone else, writers need a vacation as well. I'm not only back, I'm refreshed, ready and excited to share some news with you.
Besides being a writer, I'm a bit of a movie fan with musicals being among my favorite genre. West Side Story is a particular favorite of mine. For those of you who don't know the premise, it's basically Romeo and Juliet meets singing fifties street gangs. One of the songs in the movie shares its name with today's blog post. Before you ask, song titles aren't protected under copyright laws so I'm within in my rights to use the song title. It's also quite fitting given the news I want to share.
The song Who Knows is sung by Tony, our protagonist, our Romeo. Tony breaks into this song after getting a visit from his buddy, Riff, who's trying to talk him into coming to the dance. Riff wants his help in confronting the members of the rival gang who figure to be at the dance. Tony's no longer in the gang and doing his best to stay straight, and Riff just doesn't see the appeal. Tony tries explaining to Riff things are going to get better because he's convinced there's something exciting in his future. Riff uses Tony's words against him and convinces Tony to come to the dance by saying something along the lines of what he's waiting for could be at the dance. Thus inspiring Tony to burst into his catchy rendition of Who Knows in which he ponders his future with wide eyed excitement.
The point of this summation? I feel as though I'm having a who knows moment with my writing.
As you may have guessed by now, I'm fond of entering writing contests. I think they're a great way to gain exposure and high placements look good on query letters when you don't have any publishing credits but you're trying to land an agent.
Back in February, I entered a young adult novel contest sponsored by Australian publishing company Hardie, Grant and Edgemont. This contest was strictly for unpublished young adult authors who've penned a novel that's true to life. No fantasy or paranormal offerings were being accepted. They wanted novels with plots and characters teens could relate to. If you know me, you can imagine the appeal of this contest for me. Though I've recently dipped a toe into the paranormal pool, my first love is and always will be realistic novels. When I first started trying to break into the business, I longed to have a line of young adult novels featuring disabled teens in leading, romantic roles. Publishers didn't think that line could hold up to the popularity of Harry Potter and Twilight and the like.
Imagine my happiness to find a contest that was strictly for the kind of books I so love to write. Finally, someone else, a publisher no less, shared my vision. I entered happily and have been waiting ever since.
Good news. No, I didn't win. Winners haven't been announced yet. I did, however, make it to the finals. I'm among the top thirty of the two hundred fifty manuscripts submitted. If I win, the prize is publication of the novel. This could not only launch my career but my dream.
I don't know when the results will be announced, but I'm waiting with cautious optimism while the chorus of Who Knows floats randomly through my head.