This August I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I decided to throw the dice and enter The Need into four writing contests. I did this for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted feedback from people that didn’t know me and were not familiar with my writing, and two, I wanted to see if The Need was compelling enough to win.
Towards the end of September the results started coming in, and they were mixed. Some judges loved The Need, some didn’t care for it at all, most had complimentary and critical things to say about it. It reminded me a lot of the feedback I was getting from my beta readers, and it made sense. Not everyone is going to love what you write, that’s just a fact, but what you hope for as a writer is that your writing will stir something in people, whether good of bad, and they’ll get passionate about sharing whatever has stirred within them with their friends.
On October 21st I got an email:
Congratulations! The preliminary round of judging has been completed for the Florida Romance Writers 2013 Golden Palm Contest. I am happy to announce that your entry was a Finalist in the New Adult Romance Category.
Apparently I had stirred something, and this means a lot to me. Especially as I sit here, in New York City for the weekend, working on the third draft of The Need. Wish me luck, lovelies. I’m excited to get this book out to you.
Here are my favorite judge comments from all the contests I entered:
This is an extremely well written book by a very talented writer. You have an excellent voice and wonderful word choice and imagery. Definitely as good (or better) than many of the published works I’ve read. You should be extremely proud.
I think the female-female scene was unpredictable in a really awesome way. I usually don’t read scenes like this, but loved it just the same. Great stuff.
This is one powerful piece of writing. This story is well-told, honest and creepy as hell. You do a brilliant job of portraying the prey and the predator. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything that made me so uncomfortable! Which means it’s very, very good. Excellent, in fact.
The author does a wonderful job of showing the inner conflicts and emotions of a woman who is unsure of herself and her place in the world.
The story is well paced, and it is very suspenseful, packing fine dramatic tension throughout the sample. High marks for originality, and highly intriguing, if not exactly appealing in the conventional sense. Dialogue is often strange, but remains plausible.
I must say I wanted to keep reading THE NEED when I hit the end of the excerpt. That says a lot. Once the story got going it really kept my interest.
Excellent title! Your characters showed various levels and types of need so the title is very apropos.
I applaud you for writing in first person. It’s challenging and not easy to avoid an over use of pronouns for sentence beginnings all the while keeping the flow going.