I’ve received a few more reviews since the ABNA Top 100 were announced, and I’m grateful. It’s been a nice surprise after the disappointment. I’m up to 197, and I would love to get a few more before this thing is over.

I’m going to go into “Review Withdrawal” once the excerpts are ultimately removed. I’ve really appreciated the steady steam of comments in the last month. It’s wonderful when your work finally finds an audience and touches people. (200 would be a nice number to end with; so if anyone out there still wants to review The Silence of Trees, I welcome the review!)

Now that the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition is behind me, I look toward the future with new stories in the works, and I’m excited to get back to writing. I have one novel I need to complete, and a Middle School book (in the vein of Gaiman’s Coraline or Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) that I’d like to work on.

Now that I’m no longer preoccupied with getting reviews, generating publicity, and so on; I have the awareness and space for characters to crawl out of the woodwork of my imagination, dust themselves off, and clamor for my attention. It is most definitely a clamor! I’m not sure which set of characters is going to win out.

I’m jotting down notes and outlines, trying to keep up with the rush of information. I’ll give it a few days. In the meantime, these bits of stories continue to reveal themselves as I wash dishes, nurse the baby, play with the kids, and drift off to sleep.

Congratulations to the Top 100

Amazon announced the Top 100 early Tuesday morning, and I am not among those who were chosen to move on to the next stage.

I wish all those who were chosen the best of luck. There were quite a few that I read and really enjoyed (and even wrote reviews for three of them!…Congratulations Patti, Jennifer, and Dwight).

I want to thank everyone who read my excerpt, wrote reviews, and passed the word along. I received 195 reviews! That’s amazing, and I will treasure them (I’ve already saved them for posterity).

Many good things came out of this process (people I’ve met, contacts made, stories read, positive exposure), and I am so grateful for that.

We’ll see how this journey continues. Stay tuned. I have no doubt it will be interesting!

The Eve of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Top 100 Semifinalists

Tomorrow Amazon and Penguin are supposed to announce the ABNA Top 100 Semifinalists.

We, the contestants, don’t know really know when or how. Will it be via email? Or a mass list? Posted on Amazon? Posted on Penguin? We shall see. This from the Penguin Blog site:

“This group of submissions will be narrowed down to 100 semi-finalists on February 19th, and Penguin editors will then select the top 10 contestants who will enter the final round, their decisions informed by the ratings and reviews conducted by Publishers Weekly and critics. Amazon customers will then vote on the 10 selected finalists to elect the winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, which will be announced on April 7th, 2008.”

Speculation and theories abound on the Discussion Forums as anxious writers await the news. I will certainly keep you all posted.

Whatever happens, thank you to everyone who has done a review and rallied support. I appreciate your time and the kinds words and constructive criticisms.

I look forward to sharing this book in its entirety with you someday!