Thursday, April 2, 2009

Whitney voting

The Whitney Award voting is coming to a close. The Whitney Committee, comprised of various authors, reviewers and bookstore owners and managers have all been frantically trying to read the last of the finalists, hoping to find a clear favorite in each category by the end of this week.

As for me, I had to pick and choose which categories to vote in. Living in Virginia where I don't have easy access to LDS books, I was faced with a choice. Buy the majority of the books on the finalist list (except for the mainstream ones that are available in my library) and stop writing for two months so I would have time to read them all, or I could keep writing and read what I could. I chose the second option.

Last year I tried the first. The result was no new novel written by me last year. Lockdown, which came out this month, was written in the spring of 2007. My previous three novels (The Deep End, Freefall, and Royal Target) were written in the spring of 2006. In the spring of 2008 I didn't write. I read.

I don't know what it is about springtime that gets the creative juices flowing for me, but I've decided not to fight it...or postpone it...this year. I'm excited to have finished a rough draft of my next novel and have started on another one that I hope to have drafted by the end of April. If all goes well, I will have something to submit to my publisher within a few weeks as I edit the first.

In the middle of this productive time for me though, I am waiting anxiously to know who will win this year's Whitney awards. I am realistic enough to know that even though I wrote two of the five finalists in the suspense category, I am expecting to lose. Really. Even if I win, I lose. So, knowing that the honor really is in being nominated, and even more so being selected as a finalist, I have to wonder: If the choice was only between my two books, which would win? Royal Target or Freefall? Opinions anyone?

8 comments:

Jordan (MamaBlogga) said...

I was just wondering about the logistics of the Whitneys—how many categories voters are suppose to read from, etc. (I think I've been thinking about LDS publishing too much lately, because I think this contemplation was actually part of my dreams last night...)

Between your books—that's a really tough choice, since they're so different, and since they're both "hybrids." They're also very different kinds of suspense. I feel like the stakes seemed higher in Freefall, but Royal Target may have the advantage of a single overarching suspense plot. Hm...

Traci Hunter Abramson said...

There are six genre categories in the Whitney awards plus the Best Novel of the Year and the Best Novel by a New Author, both of which pull from the other six categories. Basically, there are a total of 30 books to read.

A lot of other people in the Whitney Academy have been reading these books throughout the year, but I normally don't get the chance to read more than a couple before the list comes out.

The nice thing is that this year, everyone voting could choose which categories to vote in. For example, if I didn't have the time to read everything in speculative fiction, I could choose not to vote in that one but still vote in the other five categories.

Karlene said...

I would choose Freefall. I liked it a bit better.

I also think Royal Target should have been placed in the Romance category. Even though it contains a lot of suspense, it's really your classic princess romance. And a good one, at that. If they'd categorized it right, you could have won in both categories. :)

Brooke said...

That's a tough one. I liked Royal Target better, but I thought it was more romance than suspense. I'd probably agree with Karlene that in this category, I would pick Freefall.

On a side note, any chance of a sequel for Royal Target?

kura2025 said...

Freefall. I like Royal Target but nowhere near as much as Freefall. Maybe it was the plot...or it could have been the navy seals. Hm...

Annelise and Boyd said...

I hope you win Traci.
Its a hard pick for me because I loved both books but I supposed for me I'd say Freefall. I loved Royal Target and have actually read it a couple times now, but for some reason I felt a stronger connection to Freefall. You're amazing at that you do though, so I'm excited to see what happens. I'm also really excited to see what your next projects are. :-)

Traci Hunter Abramson said...

Thanks everyone! I admit I did think that Royal Target was more of a romance than a suspense novel so I was kind of surprised to see it make it as a finalist in the suspense category.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I'd choose Royal Target. While I liked both, I just liked the fairy-princess feel of Royal Target (though I kind of agree it felt more like a romance, which is probably why I enjoyed it a bit more; I'm a sucker for romance novels). However, I also am one of those lame people who judges books by their covers, and I love the hot pink cover of Royal Target (although I can tell you I had a heck of a time convincing any men to read the bok at Seagull!).