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.