I was having a pretty turrable (as Cleveland Brown would say) day when I opened my email this evening and a mate (g’day Aaron!) let me know that The Abandonment of Grace and Everything After had made it onto the Bram Stoker Award Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a Collection.
Super exciting! This is how I feel:
Congratulations to everyone on the list!
What makes this even more awesome is the way the Stokers work. The preliminary ballot of ~10 works in each category comprises the 5 most popularly recommended works from Horror Writers Association members and 5 works as determined by a jury of HWA judges.
My collection was published very late in the year, so I had no traction to get HWA members to read and recommend it, which means the judging panel rated my book one of the best. In the WORLD! Having the book included because of the judges’ selection is an amazing feeling … and helps ease one of the nagging doubts I’ve had about my writing.
Now before I get too excited, this does not mean The Abandonment of Grace and Everything After is a Stoker finalist/nominee. There’s still a voting process to whittle down the preliminary ballot to 5 shortlisted finalists, but I’m in with a chance – and more importantly, a jury of well-respected, widely read peers read and enjoyed my work, which is all I could ask for.
PS. Commiserations to Robert Hood. His epic collection of ghost stories missed being in the top 5 member recommendations (and therefore, being on the Preliminary Ballot) by 1 rec. I was looking forward to renewing our rivalry (and I use the term very loosely) after going head to head with Rob in the Australian Shadows Awards last year.
PPS. There’s lingering discord in my household (from me, anyway!) that Angela is a Stoker finalist (for the outstanding Macabre anthology) and I am not (when I mentioned it again tonight, she said “was I?” in complete blank-faced seriousness. Grrraaahh!).
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