Thursday, March 31, 2011

How do you win a Lefty?


First, write a good book. I’m not boasting; there are a lot of good books out there, many better than mine. But writing a good book is the starting point. So you and a thousand other people have written a good book. Now what? Get it nominated. This is more difficult than writing it because you have little control over the nomination process. For the Lefty, only people who have attended a Left Coast Crime Convention can nominate a book. And the finalists will be the five books that receive the most nominations. Since I had never attended an LCC, I had no idea who was eligible to nominate. Enter Sunny Frazier, the Tasmanian Devil of the Internet. She had attended the last two LCCs in Los Angeles and Hawaii (the girls gets around), and she knew all the other people who had been there with her. So she talked it up, and the next thing I knew, I was on the short list. Then I got a lucky break. The program chair was a fan. Rob Kresge – a great new writer in his own right – told me he wanted to nominate The Pot Thief Who Studied Ptolemy (January 2010). Not only that – he put me on the program. But several other attendees said they wanted to nominate The Pot Thief Who Studied Einstein (November 2010). I had visions of competing against myself. I decided Einstein was the stronger candidate because it was newer, so I set about getting all my supporters to agree on Einstein. After Einstein became a finalist, Marilyn Meredith praised the book in every nook and cranny of the Internet. Does cyber space have nooks and crannies? Then other Oak Tree authors got on board – Holli, Wendy, Monti, Marja, Kitt, etc. And out fearless leader, Billie, agreed to sponsor a reception at LCC in celebration of the publication of The Pot Thief Who Studied Escoffier. I know; that was not the nominated book. But it was the book that debuted that week, and even fiction writers can make the connection. In summary, the prize belongs to the whole Oak Tree family. There is no way I could have won this award – besting books from St. Martin’s/Minotaur (2), Busted Flush Press, and Cherokee McGhee – without the support and encouragement of Oak Tree and its authors. This was truly a team effort.

8 comments:

Holli said...

Mike, you're getting so famous I'm going to start every self-introduction with, "I'm friends with Mike Orenduff."

I like the title of Tasmanian Devil for Sunny- I've been called a chihuahua myself, but I don't see it.

Holli Castillo

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Your win was totally deserved and it was truly a win for all of us Oak Tree Press authors.

Congratulations once again, Mike.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Congratulations, Mike. I agree with Marilyn. The award was certainly deserved and we're all proud of you!!!

Mike Orenduff said...

Holli,

Yo are not as yappy as a chihuahua. And you are much cuter.

Mike Orenduff said...

Thanks, Marilyn and Jean.

Sunny Frazier said...

I say we do the same for Bouchercon. Let's get Mike a Anthony! I just got my ballot and I believe we have some OTP authors and possibly our publisher attending the St. Louis convention. Start the process and use the Lefty win as leverage. What about it, gang?

Sally said...

Congrats, Mike! Hope you get on the Anthony short list. I'm happy to be with a publisher where the authors support one another. At the risk of blatant self promotion, I believe my upcoming book may be worthy of a Lefty nom. Any other OTP authors out there we can nominate for 2012?

Marja said...

Mike,

You had to do more than "just" write a good book. You deserved the award and, like Holli, I'm going to have to start dropping your name. Congratulations! Again. Nice to know the backstory.