I won! I won!

Okay, let me calm down for a second so  I can share my exciting news with you.

Who’s the winner of the Booker Award? That would be moi, thank you.

Admit it, for  a split  second you thought,  Hmm, does  Laura  actually mean the prestigious Booker Prize, that  International writing award any author would give their first born up to win? …Well, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but you know what I mean.  Did you see the little note below the prize that says “For those who refuse to live in the real world.” Ummm, that would be moi as well.  But listen, an author has a right to dream and dream big, right?  In the meantime I’m most  happy with my Booker Award  and the knowledge that my first born  didn’t  have to  make any sacrifices  for my  writing  career. (I’m a good mom, aren’t I?)

I was given this award by Darlene Foster, author of the Amanda series of books for children 8-12.  Check  out her  blog and you’ll  learn all about her and this great series. Darlene’s one of the nicest bloggers/authors/people I’ve met  on line. And to think we might never have crossed paths had it not been for the Country Roads anthology we were both contributors to.

Accepting this award means I’ll list five of my favourite books. Now this won’t be my five all time favourite since I couldn’t possible narrow it down to five, and I’m  also going to use this opportunity to give some shout outs to a few local books –so here I go:

Kit’s  Law  by Donna Morrissey.  This was Donna’s debut  novel and it’s a terrific read. I especially like the fact that Donna lives in my home province of Nova Scotia. I haven’t  yet met Donna but she’s on my list  of  author’s  too meet.  I came close  this fall  as she was  scheduled to come to The Inside Story  for a book signing, but had to cancel. Still hoping she makes it there. Would love to meet her.

The Birth House by Ami McKay. You know how every now and again we read a book and think, this is a book I would have liked to have written just because it seems to really speak to you in a special way?  Well, the Birth House is one of those books for me.  Ami is a fellow Nova Scotian as well. Her book was a #1 Canadian bestseller.

The Case  Against Owen Williams by Allan Donaldson.  Allan in a fellow Maritimer and lives in New Brunswick. I thought this novel well written and made me sympathetic toward a character  whom I might otherwise been indifferent to.

My next two are children’s books, and books that would also appeal to many adults as well.

Johnny Kellock Died Today by Hadley Dyer. Hadley grew up in the Annapolis Valley and even went to the same high school as me which I think is rather neat in itself. I met Hadley at a book signing some years back and she sent me some notes of encouragement at one time. A very supportive writer.

The Year Mrs. Montague Cried by Susan White. Susan is a writer from New Brunswick. I totally enjoyed this book and the fact that Susan drew on her own experience of losing her son made it so very authentic.

So there you have five books that I can’t really call my favourite, but local books I really enjoyed. I’m not going to pass this award on, but if you`d like to leave a list in the comment section of five, or four, or three….books you really enjoyed please feel free to do so.

Happy Reading!

The Year Mrs. Montague Cried

Last September I received an email from Susan White of New Brunswick. She had read my book and, like many others, had looked me up on line. Through some shared emails I found out that Susan had a book soon to be released by Acorn Press. I also learned that she was a retired school teacher and that she had suffered a tremendous loss when her son died in car accident.

I’ve invited Sue to write a guest blog post to talk a bit about her book. I have to say, this book really struck a cord with me. Thanks Sue. I wish you all the best with your wonderful novel.

The Year Mrs. Montague Cried

Almost a year ago I received the news that I had won first place in the Y/A category of the Atlantic Writing Competition. I had entered my manuscript The Year Mrs. Montague Cried hoping to get a positive response after having had sent it to six publishers and having had received six very polite rejection letters. I believed that if someone read the entire manuscript they would see the value of the story.

Just like most writers I waver in my belief in the worth of my writing and always must push myself to send it out and to renew my confidence after rejection. It had always been this way for my writing but this manuscript came with a whole lot of emotion and personal grief and was more than just words on paper.

I had spent a year crafting a story that held the very essence of the loss I felt after losing my oldest son Zachary in an automobile accident. I believed in this story because I knew the truth of it and had felt every word, every line, every page. And having felt it so deeply putting it out there seemed to wage war with the feelings of instinctually protecting myself from the vulnerability the pain of loss creates.

But winning the contest decided that for me and I was soon swept up with a proposal for publishing, the editing process and the eventual coming together of the book I now hold in my hands.

I am grateful for that journey and am encouraged anew to sit before my computer and write. Whatever The Year Mrs. Montague Cried becomes for the reader I know what it has been for me and I let it go just as we let go of the people we love, letting them go and keeping them at the same time and no one and nothing can take that away from us.

To learn more about Susan and her book you will find her at author-susan-white
There’s a lovely review of her book that appeared in the Chronicle Herald in July on her site right now. Thanks again Sue. I’m so glad we *met.*

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