Monday, March 8, 2010

2 questions round - 2009 Bram Stoker Awards nominees

I am always interested in the speculative fiction awards and I like to see how the final ballot list becomes the list of nominations and finally the winners’ list. I was always curious about what means a nomination for a specific award and how can that change an author’s career. Now I have the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity with the help of some of the nominees for the 2009 Bram Stoker Awards, among them a few that were nominated and won the award before. My guests in their alphabetical order are:

Bruce Boston – nominated for the Superior Achievement in Poetry Collection, “Double Visions” and “North Left of Earth”

S.G. Browne – nominated for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, “Breathers”

Mort Castle – nominated for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, “Dreaming Robot Monster”

Ellen Datlow – nominated for Superior Achievement in Anthology, “Lovecraft Unbound” and “Poe”

Robert Dunbar – nominated for Superior Achievement in Fiction Collection, “Martyrs and Monsters”

Scott Edelman - nominated for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, “The Huger of Empty Vessels”

Rain Graves - nominated for Superior Achievement in Poetry Collection, “Barfodder”

Nate Kenyon – nominated for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, “Keeping Watch”

Daniel G. Keohane - nominated for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, “Solomon’s Grave”

Michael Knost – nominated for Superior Achievement in Nonfiction, “Writers Workshop of Horror”

Jonathan Maberry – nominated for Superior Achievement in a Novel, “Patient Zero”

Joe McKinney - nominated for Superior Achievement in a Novel, “Quarantined”

Lisa Morton - nominated for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, “The Lucid Dreams” & for Superior Achievement in Anthology, “Midnight Walk”

Gene O’Neill - nominated for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, “Doc Good’s Traveling Show” & for Superior Achievement in Fiction Collection, “A Taste of Tenderloin”

Weston Ochse - nominated for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, “The Crossing of Aldo Ray”

Harry Shannon - nominated for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, “The Night Nurse”

Jeremy C. Shipp - nominated for Superior Achievement in a Novel, “Cursed”

Lucy A. Snyder - nominated for Superior Achievement in Poetry Collection, “Chimeric Machines”

LL Soares & Michael Arruda – nominated for Superior Achievement in Nonfiction, “Cinema Knife Fight”

Lee Thomas - nominated for Superior Achievement in Fiction Collection, “In the Closet, Under the Bed”

Paul G. Tremblay - nominated for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, “The Little Sleep”

Bev Vincent - nominated for Superior Achievement in Nonfiction, “The Stephen King Illustrated Companion”

How does it feel to be nominated for the Bram Stoker Award? Is winning the award as important as the nomination?

Bruce Boston: Most writers thrive to some extent on recognition, and I'm no exception. Having my work nominated for a Bram Stoker Award by my fellow writers in the field is always a pleasure and an honor. And winning the award is even a greater pleasure and honor.

SG Browne: Having Breathers nominated for a Bram Stoker Award is exciting and a bit surreal. Kind of like losing your virginity, only without the awkward emotional fallout. And although it might sound cliché and, admittedly, as ridiculous as when everyone else has said the same thing, while winning a Stoker would be a treat, it's an honor just to be nominated.

Mort Castle: As others will likely agree, the nomination is a serious honor because that is the result of the voting of your peers, writing and editing people, people with whom you have this professional affinity; the Stoker is not a fan award.
That said, it stands to reason that winning is still more of an honor.
Certainly it is an honor for an Olympic athlete to earn a slot on his nation's team. I think, however, standing in front of the world audience and having a gold medal placed around your neck would be a still greater honor.

Ellen Datlow: I'm delighted to be nominated for the Stoker Award. Any award nomination is a demonstration of respect and appreciation for what one is doing, in this case, editing anthologies. The winner of any award is remembered for way longer than the nominees so yes, to me winning is as important.

Robert Dunbar: MARTYRS & MONSTERS has gotten overwhelmingly sensational reviews, but it’s always pleasant to have the merits of your work recognized by your colleagues as well.

Scott Edelman: This is my fifth Stoker nomination, and it's been a thrill every time. I'm always honored that my peers consider something I've written worthy of being a finalist. As to the question of whether winning is as important as having been nominated, that's a difficult one to answer. What's most important of all is to use the power of any sign of encouragement from the universe to then go ahead and write the _next_ good story.
One of the wonderful things about being nominated is that until I've lost, I've won! I spend the weeks from the time I've learned my story has made the cut until the name of the winner (which so far hasn't been me) is announced in dreaming that it _could_ be me. So even when I've lost, I've won. I wouldn't trade that delicious period of anticipation for anything.

Rain Graves: I think every writer likes to be recognized in some positive way for having written something as an "achievement" rather than being raked over the coals by reviewers... All writers who get published put themselves out there, regardless of the outcome. Being nominated for the Bram Stoker Award makes you think back to your hard work on the book in question, and in your most insecure moment, remind yourself that your peers (at the very least) liked it enough to nominate it. Being recognized by your peers is sometimes the most satisfying recognition, much like those glowing reviews from highly respected publications.
I don't put great importance on the winning of awards, or even the nomination of such; but it does feel absolutely wonderful to win, and gives you a sense that you're headed in a positive direction for your career as a writer, when nominated. Everyone wants to win something. Even people who say they could care less. Give them an award, and they smile. They may grouse later, of course...but the smile comes first.

Nate Kenyon: I'm always thrilled to be nominated for anything, but a Stoker is something particularly special to me. It's the major award in the horror genre, and it's voted upon by my peers. So I'm both excited and humbled to be on the ballot, this time in the short story category. I think short fiction is actually more difficult to write well than novels for me--so this means a lot.
Of course I would love to win, but it really is an honor just to be nominated. Everyone says this, but it's true.

Daniel G. Keohane: It feels great! To be a successful writer, you need a good self-image - of your writing at least. You have to feel whatever you're working on is worthy of the time you spend on it, otherwise what motivation do we have to continue? However, and this may sound contradictory, most of us also have a poor self-image. "I really liked this book, but no one else will." I know, the topsy-turvy mental process of the writer. Better to be humble than full of yourself, though, and to that end, I was surprised, in a very pleasant way, by the nomination. I've gotten some good reviews for the book, both formal and from direct comments from people, but when enough people within the a professional organization like the HWA vote for Solomon's Grave to put it on the final ballot, its feels really good. It's akin to getting a letter or email from someone you don't know telling you how much they liked a story. Positive feedback is great - we writers never get enough of it (which is why we tend to give it to each other more often than most, we know how much it's appreciated).
When Solomon made the preliminary ballot, I said to myself (and anyone who'd listen, no many, lol), that I'd be thrilled to simply make it to the final ballot - to be "Nominated," officially. Now that it's happened, I am thrilled, and honored, and if by some strange computer error I should win, it would only be icing on the cake. But to make it to this final ballot, see my name and my book's title alongside such incredibly talented writers, is all I could have hoped for. To see any of the others win would be great, because they're all terrific writers and I'd be incredibly happy for them - we're all in the same situation, excited to simply have the recognition of our peers for this brief but fun moment in 2010.

Michael Knost: Being nominated is important to me because it brings a level of acceptance from one’s peers as it pertains to the work. Although winning the award would be nice, I think the nomination is as credible as the winning.

Jonathan Maberry: It’s a wonderful feeling, particularly because the nomination comes from my peers in the horror writing community. I love the genre and respect the writers who continually bring new depth and dimension to horror, so having them take notice of my novel is a thrill.
Sometimes. There are plenty of actors who have been nominated for Academy Awards but haven’t won them. Leonardo Dicaprio, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt haven’t won a Best Actor Award even though they’ve been nominated. It doesn’t make anyone respect their performance any less. The fact that they were nominated is used in advertising for their new films. Being nominated for a Stoker is a huge honor.
But there is a bit of a career boost that can come from winning. I’ve seen it firsthand from the two Stokers I’ve previously won – for Best First Novel (Ghost Road Blues, Pinnacle Books 2006) and Best Nonfiction (for The Cryptopedia – co-authored by David F. Kramer, Citadel Press, 2007).

Joe McKinney: In a word, GREAT! I've been a part of the HWA for several years now, and it is definitely a wonderful feeling to receive such high praise from my peers. But is the nomination as important as the award itself? No. Susan Lucci could tell us all about that.

Lisa Morton: Of course it's always a pleasure to know that your writing peers have chosen to honor your work with a nomination. Personally, winning is not as important to me.

Gene O’Neill: Of course it feels good to be nominated for any award, especially one determined by one's peers. Like a lot of awards--Oscars?--just making the final ballot is a gratifying achievement and really all one can hope for.

Weston Ochse: It feels awesome to be nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. This is my third nomination and the first in the short story category. I won for Best First Novel in 2005, then last year was nominated for Long Fiction Category. I was honestly more nervous last year than I was in 2005. I never thought the book would win and wasn't even at the ceremony. Last year I was in Burbank for the awards and as nervous as a kitten in a firecracker store. This year will be the same. I'm traveling to England just to see what happens.

Harry Shannon: I really enjoy hearing from readers who like my novels and stories, but that feels a little sweeter when the approval comes from your peers. Hell, I'd really love to have one of those cool little haunted house trophies for my desk, but have to admit it feels neat just to be in such good company.

Jeremy C. Shipp: I feel exceedingly excited and greatly grateful to be nominated. As a writer, clichés are my enemy, but I still want to say: even if I don’t win the award, I’ll feel just as honored to be nominated.

Lucy A. Snyder: It feels wonderful to be nominated for a Bram Stoker Award because it represents recognition from my writing peers. Having said that, the thrill of actually winning the award would far outstrip the excitement of receiving the nomination.

LL Soares: It feels great to be nominated for the Bram Stoker Award, especially since I never thought we had a chance. Compared to some of the other works in our category (Non-Fiction), Cinema Knife Fight is just a little horror movie review column. Who knew we’d make it to the final ballot and compete with books about Stephen King!
It’s very exciting to be nominated. As for winning, I think we’re a real long shot, but hey, anything is possible. Of course we’d be ecstatic if we won, but we have to be realistic of our chances. If we win, it will be a big, wonderful surprise. But at this point, just being nominated - and getting this far - is pretty exciting on its own.

Michael Arruda: And strangely, I agree with everything LL said here. Like anything, you take it for what it is. Being nominated for a Stoker is wonderfully rewarding, and winning it would be that much better, but at the end of the day, you still have to write and write well. That’s what we intend to keep doing, win or lose.

Lee Thomas: It's always a thrill to be honored by your peers. The fact that a group of people have come together and agreed that your work represents a superior achievement in the field is just amazing. Once the finalists have been named, though, it becomes an issue of apples and oranges, because no two collections are doing the exact same things in the exact same ways. By definition, winning the award is a greater accomplishment, but I'm more than satisfied with a nomination.

Paul G. Tremblay: It's certainly an honor to receive kudos from other writers, particularly with The Little Sleep which isn't horror in the traditional sense, but was dark enough to be considered/recognized. Winning would be great, of course, and I'd raise my haunted house statue over the fallen and smoten (yes, smoten!) nominees. But being nominated is the real honor, right?

Bev Vincent: It always feels great when something I worked hard on is recognized by the community. The Stephen King Illustrated Companion is up for an Edgar (Mystery Writers of America) and a Bram Stoker Award this year, and I plan to go to both ceremonies and simply enjoy myself. Winning would be nice, but I think the nomination brings more concentrated attention to the works under consideration than winning the award does. During the interim between the announcement of nominations and the selection of the winners, there is a lot of discussion about the merits of the works. Then the winner is announced, and there is the presentation and press releases and photographs in magazines--then it's all over, for the most part. That's not to minimize winning -- I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be proud to have one of those beautiful trophies sitting on the mantelpiece -- but the nomination itself is gratifying and rewarding. You don't come away from the process feeling like you've lost if you don't win the award.

Can a nomination for an award such as the Bram Stoker Award change an author's career? Does this nomination set a higher standard for your works?

Bruce Boston: Yes, I think a nomination can change an author's career. I haven't noticed any great changes for a nomination for a poetry collection, but when my novel The Guardener's Tale was nominated in 2008, sales immediately took off and a Spanish publisher, as a direct result of the nomination, contacted me and subsequently bought the book for translation and publication in Spain.
As far as setting a higher standard for one's writing, I think it may do so with regard to readers' expectations, and it no doubt carries some weight with potential publishers, but I don't feel that being nominated or winning the Stoker has changed my writing. However, it has generated my own enthusiasm to write and publish more.

SG Browne: I don't have enough long-term insights to comment on the career-changing effects of a Stoker nomination, but it can definitely create an increased awareness for an author's work and open up additional opportunities. As for setting a higher standard for my own work, I like to think the standard was already there.

Mort Castle: I don't know. I don't know if anyone else knows, either. I can see, however, that everyone who has won a Stoker award (and I've not had that pleasure, though this is my seventh nomination) has had that mentioned on book covers, in bio material, etc. And I do know that my recognition has been applauded by my colleagues in the Fiction Writing Department of Columbia College.
No. Around 1985, with the encouragement of a number of people I consider Artists (and I deliberately use an uppercase A!), I set out to sometimes not just create "horror entertainments" but to make ... Art.
Recognition that I might be doing so does help to keep on keeping on in my "craft and sullen art."

Ellen Datlow: I think that a nomination is more helpful to new writers/editors starting out than those already established. The nomination of an unknown can influence readers outside the field to read his work. But I doubt very much that it changes an author or editor's career markedly. Very few awards do. However, a short story nomination might bring an author's work to the attention of an agent, which in turn could help her sell a first novel.
I'm always a little nervous when my next anthology is published--it doesn't matter whether I've won or been nominated for an award for the previous anthology.
I have no idea what the market expects but I sure hope each book has increased sales. I edit so many different kinds of anthologies: theme, non-theme, all or mostly original, all reprint, sf/f/h that I hope the market/that is, readers, just eagerly await what I'm producing next.

Robert Dunbar: Come on – this isn’t the Pulitzer we’re talking about. Does it set a higher standard for my work? Are you kidding? My standards couldn’t be any higher, but that has to do with my own passion, my own commitment. It has nothing to do with what the critics say or whether I win prizes. You do what you do. Sometimes accolades follow. Sometimes not. Doesn’t matter. An artist mustn’t be influenced by such concerns. On the other hand, yes, it can benefit your career … because editors and agents don’t really have a clue when it comes to literature. But awards? Ah! That they understand. Bit depressing really.

Scott Edelman: Being nominated sets the bar higher only in the same way I think _every_ story one writes sets the bar higher. You always hope your next piece will be even better than your previous one. So once nominated, you do hope to create something worthy of such a nod again.
As to whether a win can change a writer's career that has to be broken into the inward change vs., the outward change, that is, the marketplace. In the marketplace, a writer needs every possible leg up, so for a novelist to be able to put STOKER AWARD WINNER on a book cover might attract a browser's attention in a bookstore. But it's that inward change that matters more. Having not won a Stoker, I'm only speculating here, but I believe there's got to be that feeling in the mind of a winner, "Let me be worthy of this."
If I keep at this long enough, maybe I'll get to find out for myself someday.

Rain Graves: I don't believe it changes an author's career, but it certainly doesn't hurt it. Awards in general are that strange anomaly that when placed on paper, seem to stand out like a sore thumb when someone who has the power to say yes or no to your work (Agents, Publishers, Readers, and Reviewers), see something of merit when they've never heard of you. It by no means helps them make a decision--only your body of work can do that--but it does give them a familiarity they might not otherwise have, in the knowledge that someone, somewhere along the line, loved it enough to give it an award.
S. G. Browne, I think, put it very well to me once. To paraphrase, he said there are people out there who have a dream as a writer, and that dream is to win the Bram Stoker Award, or the Hugo, or the Nebula...for recognition in their field. To win for them, is the single most confirmation that they've done something amazing as a writer. For me...the higher standard is not at all a dream to be given an award. The higher standard is to always become a better writer--through reading, expanding the imagination, writing, and putting myself out there to better my work.
For me, the nomination is just as literal as it is intended to be--a jury of my peers (in this case, active HWA members--and I am not a member of the HWA) that deem collectively that this work merits recognition by them as "good." If it wins, it becomes the "best" of that category--but by no means is it singularly better than anything on the ballot in my opinion, or for that matter, any other work of poetry I ever thought was amazing. It just means they liked it best, and felt it deserved that recognition. For the nomination, I am honored to know that my peers thought it had that merit, and should be considered. It's a good feeling to have. Wonderful, even.
As an aside--I truly believe in the Poetry Category for the Stokers, it has given new light to an emerging mainstay in the genre. 10 years ago virtually no one could list five titles of dark genre poetry that were written today (ie: not classics), nor could they say they had read or wanted to read any. The Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Poetry Category has changed how people look at genre poetry, and gotten more people reading it than ever through its recognition. For that alone, this is a very important award. Anyone not knowing where to begin in genre poetry, has only to look back over the past years the HWA has been doing the award for poetry to get a list of titles worth reading and enjoying. It has opened a lot of minds, and paved the way for new poets to be published and recognized for dark genre poetry.

Nate Kenyon: I'm not sure whether it can change a career. It certainly gets you noticed within the genre, but I don't think it extends much beyond that. Ultimately things like landing contracts and increasing sales are about the books themselves--if the work is good enough, it'll do well. An award nomination--even an award win--probably isn't going to change that.

Daniel G. Keohane: To answer the first, it sure can't hurt! :-) I think it can only help. I mean, all of the writers on the current ballot can now, even if we don't ultimately win, legitimately put "Nominated for the Bram Stoker Award" on our book covers or websites, etc, and "Bram Stoker Nominated Author" on any future covers. It's something to hold up to a potential reader and say, "Hey, enough people thought the book you're currently holding in your hands was worthy of taking a second look at." They may still hate it, or put it back on the shelf and grab another, but at least it's a yellow umbrella in a sea of black, which is all we, as authors, can ask for. Sorry for the bad metaphor, but it's raining outside.
As to whether it sets a higher standard - no, don't think so. Because every book, every story we write and publish should already be at the highest standard we can offer. We should improve every time, no question - the books I've written since first penning Solomon's Grave, in my opinion at least, are better than the ones that came before in some aspect. I don't feel any pressure from this nomination, because I'm my toughest critic already - I don't need any more pressure, lol. But right now, just seeing my name on the ballot beside Paul, Hank and Scott is enough to make me smile and appreciate this moment of recognition. Soon enough I'll need to shrug it off and get back to writing, and remember the sage advice of Han Solo: "Don't get cocky, kid!"

Michael Knost: I'm not sure a nomination, or the winning of the award, could change an author's career. The one thing it does, I'm sure, is place the author in a new light. The name brand may have more credibility for an up-an-comer looking for an agent or publisher. Maybe not so much for the well established author/editor, however, it would certainly be an affirmation to these folks that they are continuing to produce works their peers find exceptional.

Jonathan Maberry: Absolutely. We’ve seen it time and again. It’s impossible for readers, editors and reviewers to read EVERYTHING that’s out there; and it’s often hard to know where to look for those writers who may be writing some of the best stuff. Award nominations draw attention to notable works by notable writers. That attracts readers, it encourages reviewers to take them more seriously, and it can open up more opportunities for the writer when it comes to future projects.
Sure. If you’ve been nominated for one work, everyone is going to expect you to write at or above that level of quality. And you damn well should. It can intimidate some folks, but most of the nominees I’ve known (for the Stokers, Edgars, Spike, Emmies, Nebula, etc.) take it as a mandate to consistently bring their A-game.

Joe McKinney: Well, the Stoker award generates a lot of attention, and attention for a writer is generally a good thing. So, yeah, I'd say the nomination can have some impact on a writer's career. How much I couldn't say, but certainly some. But as for setting a higher standard? No, I wouldn't say that's the case. Every writer out there was doing this gig for free before it became a business. With all the time and energy put into the process of writing, it just doesn't make sense to put something out I'm not happy with. In the end, the only person I write for is me, and I always insist on a high personal standard.

Lisa Morton: The nomination may help in a few small ways; if nothing else, it should tell editors that you know what you're doing and your work will be operating at a high level of professionalism. I think it also helps in things like approaching agents, where an award can be used as that all-important "platform" that an agent will need to help sell your work to publishers. And I would hope that it wouldn't be a nomination that would set a higher standard - I try to do that on my own with everything I write!

Gene O’Neill: The nomination can have a slight effect on your career. Help get an agent. Allow publishers to put Stoker Winner on the cover of your books. Sell a few more books based on the win. But I don't think it causes me to set a higher standard in my work. I'm a slow writer, going through large numbers of revisions before I'm satisfied. That won't change.

Weston Ochse: I don't think the nomination, nor the winning of the award can change a career. What it does is provides some fuel in those long dark hours of the soul when you're writing and you don't think your stuff is any good. When the doubts are the strongest, it helps to fend them off with the fact that peers and fans alike have taken, not only the time to read your work, but to recommend them for an award. Now that's something very cool.

Harry Shannon: I don't think these awards have much impact on our careers overall. Some publishers find value in them, but doubt many book buyers will make their decision based on a Stoker nomination, or even a win. Readers know an author's name, and/or like the description on the book and the cover art. After that, perhaps seeing that a work was recognized by other authors could be the icing on the cake.

Jeremy C. Shipp: The nomination has certainly helped get my name out there and connect with new readers. I’ve also received numerous offers for interviews and writing projects. The nomination doesn’t change anything in terms of standards. I’ve always forced myself to write the best stories I can, and I’ll continue to do so, forever. Even when I’m a friendly ghost, haunting an old Victorian farmhouse, scribbling on the walls with my ectoplasmic pen.

Lucy A. Snyder: A nomination is certainly helpful to an author's career -- for instance, I've recently received some invitations to submit works for anthologies, and those invitations seem to have been the result of the editors seeing my name on the Stoker nomination list.
However, since in my case it's my poetry collection that's been nominated, there's a limited amount of cross-over into how my fiction will be perceived. The overall career benefit of the nomination would be greater if it were a nomination for a story collection or novel. Poetry tends not to sell very well no matter what; ironically I've seen sales of my small-press story collections increase a bit after the Stoker final ballot was announced, but not sales of the actual award-nominated collection.

LL Soares: Frankly, I have no idea if winning the Stoker Award can change an author’s career. But I would sure love to find out! If anything, it adds a level of prestige to your writing that shows that people are more aware of you, and maybe they’d be a little more likely to seek out more of your work.
As for higher standards, I think Michael and I both reach for high standards, with the Cinema Knife Fight column, and in our own fiction, all the time. Why even bother, if you’re not going to strive to put out the best work you can? If anything, being nominated for the Stoker just makes us focus more on continuing to write the best work we can.

Michael Arruda: Does winning the Stoker change an author’s career? I don’t know. But if we win, ask us next year, and we’ll let you know.

Lee Thomas: Generally an award nomination, even a win, won't change the author's career in a major way - unless we're talking Nobel or Pulitzer. I think it gives the author a bit of an edge-up in that they can list an accomplishment in their bio that sets them apart, but each work has to speak for itself, so the "glow" of the award recognition only reaches so far. This is my fourth nomination (and I have won the award in the "First Novel" category), but editors don't suddenly appear screaming for my work. I still submit stories like anyone else and still receive... gasp... rejections. Ha! I think the writer should always be looking to improve, but that shouldn't have anything to do with awards. I try to set a higher standard each time I sit down to write a story. Sometimes I succeed. Other times... not so much. But it never has anything to do with what I've already accomplished or what I might win for writing well.

Paul G. Tremblay: I don't think the nomination can really change an author's career, but it doesn't hurt. My editor and agent were both pleased with the news.
Does the nomination set a higher standard because of the nomination? Not. I'm my own worst critic most days and it's hard enough to satisfy that SOB, never mind worrying about what award may or may not choose to recognize my work. The goal (or at least, my goal) is to continually grow as a writer and just write the best novel/story that I possibly can.

Bev Vincent: I'm sure in some cases an award nomination can have a demonstrably positive effect on an author's career. I was nominated in 2004 for a Stoker for my first book, The Road to the Dark Tower. I can't say that the nomination exactly changed my career, but the success of that earlier book led directly to the opportunity to write the new one. The publisher contacted me, asking if I would be willing to write The Stephen King Illustrated Companion, instead of the other way around. The previous nomination may have influenced that decision. The truth is, though, that we never know for sure. We don't generally have access to weekly/monthly sales figures, so it's hard to tell if a nomination leads to an increase in sales, for example. Does mentioning an award nomination in a cover letter make an editor any more likely to consider your work for publication? It might bump a submission closer to the top of the slush pile in some cases, but ultimately (as they say in the investment community) past performance may not be an indicator of future earnings. In other words, you can't ride the reputation of a previous success very long. Each new work has to stand on its own merits. And I think that we set higher standards for our works each time we start something new. We're constantly striving to do better. An award nomination is one of the ways others tell us when we're succeeding in that quest.

Thank you all very much for your time and answers.


Anonymous said...

As a reader, I do consult lists of award winners and nominees to find good books, especially if I decide that I want to "see what happened" in a particular year.

Mihai A. said...

It is indeed a very nice way to find new books and authors :)

Rabid Fox said...

Wow. I'm gonna have to download this blog entry and read it once I'm home. Looks intriguing.

Mihai A. said...

Rabid Fox, I hope you'll enjoy it :)

Rabid Fox said...

Indeed I did. Well done in snagging so many authors to participate.

Mihai A. said...

I am glad you liked it :)
They were very nice and helpful.