Knowing that the Game of War was a finalist in for the 2021 Chanticleer’s Ozma Fantasy Awards, I made the decision to attend the conference where they would be announcing winners and presenting awards at the annual gala.
Spoiler: the Game of War won, but NOT the award I was expecting.
It wasn’t my only reason to visit the Seattle area. My father lives nearby and I hadn’t seen him for quite a while–so my whole family packed up and flew there for a week’s vacation, ending with the conference.
The day before we were going to drive there, I double-checked the list of finalists for the Ozma online. I don’t know exactly why. I liked the reassurance of seeing my name and book title right there on the list. But it wasn’t there. In fact, it was gone from ALL the Ozma lists, going back to the long and short lists.
I was shocked and devastated. Had I been canceled for some reason? Was there a scandal I was unaware of? Perhaps a conspiracy was afoot?
I wrote to my contact at Chanticleer and, for thirty minutes, I paced. How could they take away the reason I had traveled from CA with my whole family? And at the last second? Then I got an email from David, who did some digging and discovered that my category had been moved to the Dante Rossetti YA award. The explanation was that they felt it might do better there. And, after checking, I confirmed that history had been rewritten: I (and my book) had been inserted into ALL of the lists for the Dante Rosetti award, going back to the long list.
With a sigh of relief, we went to the conference and had a blast. Here are some shots of what we experienced.
The night of the banquet arrived, my category was announced, and–of course–my book was the last to be called. It won first place for the Dante Rosetti award for YA Fantasy.
I’m so proud and humbled. I’ve won a few awards before, but this is the first where I’ve actually attending the awards ceremony in person. It was an amazing night. And bonus, because it actually did make it as far as finalist in the Ozma category, the Game of War can show both as wins.
I’m so glad my family was there to enjoy the event and cheer me on. I couldn’t have done any of this without their support.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of the Game of War, make sure you do before the House of Prophecy is released (book two of the Chronicles of Chaos). Even though the Game of War is a prequel, it sets the stage in a big way for this upcoming book.