And the Winner is...
I'm not one who typically enters writing contests. I hate being judged and I don't deal well with rejection. I had the same problems when I was doing theater and competing in vocal and instrumental music contests. The audition or performance were nerve-wracking enough, but the wait for the judging to come in could leave me completely debilitating. Writing is no different, so I don't tend to enter contests. This year, I put my fears aside and decided to go for it. I entered The Veritas Codex (book 1 of the series) to The BookFest Awards.
The BookFest Awards honors authors who create outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction. Books are judged in categories based on genre, theme, and aesthetics. I wasn't sure that included me, but you never know 'til you try, right?
The awards were announced on Saturday, October 22nd and I had no idea how the winners would be notified, so when my Instagram writing community started chattering about their awards, I thought, "Oh well, I guess I didn't win. No one notified me." I'll admit. I was busy. I had a road trip planned, and I needed to get on the road before sunrise. It wasn't until I reached my destination that I really had time to think about it and actually go log in to my account, and let me tell you, I was gob smacked!
I thought there must be a mistake. There had to be! I couldn't possibly have won 1st place in the Thriller - Supernatural category. No. No. No. There was an error. Did no one else enter?? I'd never won an award for a novel -- ever! I sat down -- in a museum -- and cried.
Later that day, I got an email confirming that it was not -- in fact -- a mistake. First Place - Thriller - Supernatural - The Veritas Codex, Betsey Kulakowski.
At least five of my friends won awards that day and I celebrate with each and every one of them.
R.S. Hamilton - 2nd place - Fantasy Action-Adventure - for The Stories of Evergreen: The Life of Billy Blaine
J.B. Caine - 2nd place - YA Fantasy, 2nd Place Paranormal & Urban - 3rd Place Supernatural - Ghosts - for Rush to Judgement
C.D. McKenna - 1st place - Fantasy - Dark/Fiction, 2nd place Fantasy - Magic, Myth & Legend - for Blood of the Lion: The Vorelian Saga
Angel Giacamo - 3rd Place - War & Military - The Jackson Mackenzie Chronicles
It humbles me that I can now say, I am a bestselling, award-winning author. I never thought it could happen for me, but I feel incredibly blessed that the right people were put in my path to help me get to this level of success. For everyone who stood by me, cheering me on, THANK YOU.