N.B. This award will not be given out at the Portland 2017 Conference.
The 2015 Conference in Denver is almost upon us – I am starting to sort out what clothes to pack (and have treated myself to a few new outfits!) I must confess I am not looking forward to the flight from the UK, but I guess it’s quicker than in the Historical Days of sailing ships, when such a voyage would take months (years?) and would be somewhat more dangerous! The only advantage is that those early seafarers did not have to cope with London’s Heathrow Airport….
I had a quick look at the programme yesterday, and it looks like we are all going to have a fabulous weekend in Denver – there’s something going on from Dawn to Dusk (and beyond) from Thursday to Sunday. I reckon we will all be falling into our beds around midnight thoroughly sated with enjoyment.
There is one particular event on the Saturday evening that I am most especially looking forward to. The announcement of the winner of the HNS 2015 Indie Award.
The Indie Awards are my “baby”. When I took over as Managing Editor for HNS Indie Reviews I was determined to do two things:
• Encourage an increase in the quality of Indie/Self-Published historical fiction
• Introduce an award of some sort.
The two went together. We will not review any book submitted that is incorrectly formatted or poorly ‘presented’. These are not issues that arise with traditional mainstream published books, as publishing houses produce their books professionally. Indie, on the other hand, is akin to ‘do-it-yourself’ and as any D.I.Y. person can tell you a sataisfactory end product is often not as easy to achieve as first thought!
By reviewing a book HNS is saying “this is worth reading”. Therefore, we do not recommend a novel that has so small a font you need a magnifying glass to read it, or one with the text left justified, or sections printed in different fonts. Readers have to buy these books and they want value for their money.
We also take into account the cover design. While a terrible cover will not result in rejection, it will attract a comment from the reviewer – as will a superb cover of course. One author did remark to me (rather gruffly) that other professional review mediums do not include this criteria. I agree, they do not, but then most professional review mediums are reviewing professionally produced mainstream books that have their artwork designed by a professional art team. Many Indie novels have a cover put together via a mix of Photoshop and a family relation’s artwork. Often the result is a nice cover – but completely unsuitable for the book.
Before I say much more I confess I made all the above mistakes when I first stepped into the unknown world of S.P. Even down to Comic Sans font. But I learnt from those errors (a very sharp learning curve, I can tell you!) and for other gifted authors who have the talent to write a cracking good historical story I felt there should be a goal to aim for. For the last quarterly review we had more than eighty books submitted. That is some tough competition to be up against! The first goal is to be selected as Editor’s Choice. All our Indie Ed’s Choices are automatically longlisted for the Indie Award. From these nine finalists are chosen, which are whittled down to four finalists, and then a runner-up and the elite goal of our winner.
For the 2015 Award my thanks go to Viviane Crystal our shortlist judge, and Amy Bruno our finalist judge.
Viviane Crystal says:
“Reviewing books is one way of treasuring and developing the craft of great writing! I began avidly reading at a very young age and began my reviewing life with special interest in Arthurian literature. That’s the background of my reviewer’s name, Viviane Crystal. I now review all genres with equal passion, with a special affection for historical fiction. I’m a proud mother and grandmother, have a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in English education, have been a High School English Teacher for many years and have also earned a Paralegal Certificate. During my teaching career, I created and directed a Writing Across the Curriculum Center. I now work in a legal office and teach in the evenings. In my free time, I love reading, taking early or late-day walks along the ocean shore near my home, listening to all types of music, going to art museums and concerts or just enjoying a cup of coffee in a (where else? *grin*) bookstore alone or with friends. I am absolutely passionate about quality writing or in meeting a new challenge, whether that be working to teach better, write a better review, or helping someone else to discover his or her gift of creative, purposeful expression.”
Amy Bruno is a lover of the written world and obsessed with the historical fiction genre. She blogs about and reviews historical fiction novels at the book blog, Passages to the Past (www.passagestothepast.com) and is the owner & tour coordinator at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours (www.hfvirtualbooktours.com), a virtual marketing company that caters exclusively to the historical fiction genre. She lives outside of Atlanta with her husband of twelve years and three amazing kids.
My thanks also to our sponsors, Geri Clouston of Indie B.R.A.G and Orna Ross of ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors – and of course to the HNS for supporting Indie writers and the Indie team of editors and reviewers.
So, who will win the 2015 Award? Well the judges have finished reading and I have the exciting result here.
But you will have to wait for Saturday evening at the Conference to find out who the runner-up and winner will be as my lips, like the envelope containing the winner’s certificate, are sealed!
The Spirit Room by Marschel Paul
Revenge & Retribution by Anna Belfrage
Tristan & Iseult by J. D. Smith
A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii by Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter
The Love Letter Of John Henry Holliday by Mary Fancher
1914 by Charles B. Smith
Revenge And Retribution by Anna Belfrage
The Tribute Bride by Theresa Tomlinson
Tristan And Iseult by J D Smith
A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii by various authors
The Spirit Room by Marschel Paul
A Just and Upright Man by R J Lynch
The Liverpool Connection by Elisabeth Marrion
COMPLETE LONG LIST 2015
The Art Procurer by Jeff Ridenour
My Lady Viper: Tales From The Tudor Court by E. Knight
The Banneret’s Blade: Trouble Brewing by Nick De Rothschild
Olivia, Mourning by Yael Politis e-book
Serpents In The Garden by Anna Belfrage
The Kraals of Ulundi by David Ebsworth
Successio by Alison Morton
The Evergreen in Red and White by Steven Kay
In The Shadow Of The Tokolosh by K. Conrad
Wilderness Trail Of Love by Dorothy Wiley
The Wrath of Brotherhood by Ozgur K. Sahin
Bring It Close by Helen Hollick*
Martin Of Gfenn by Martha Kennedy
Light, Descending by Octavia Randolph
The Leper King by Scott R. Rezer
After the Rising by Orna Ross *
*Exempt from award
Indie B.R.A.G. – http://www.bragmedallion.com/
ALLi – http://allianceindependentauthors.org/
Helen Hollick – www.helenhollick.net
HNS Indie Award Rules – https://historicalnovelsociety.org/hns-awards/hns-indie-award-competition-rules-2015/
As a supporter of Independent Authors she is Managing Editor for the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews, and inaugurated the HNS Indie Award.