Homegrown talent was celebrated big time on Saturday night, June 9 at the San Diego Book Awards Banquet! I was thrilled, humbled, honored to be the keynote speaker. As always when surrounded by such motivated writers/authors, I was inspired. Host/emcee Bruno Leone was an absolute delight, ad- libbing, dropping trivia, telling great jokes. He set a great tone for the night. New for the first time was a “Kids Write” category for young writers ages 10-13. Cody Clements, Julia Situ, and Brian Wang were the finalists; Julia went on to win first!
The Romance Writers of America, San Diego chapter, was well represented. RWASD President Lisa Kessler took first in the Sci-fi/Fantasy Category for Night Walker. RWASD member, Kelly Hayes took first in unpublished YA for her novel, Keepers. The judges were kept busy all these months reading many, many entries in about 20 different categories.
Then I think of how beautifully the event played out. It was a red carpet event, made possible only by all committee members and volunteers who worked behind the scenes. Jean Forsythe, committee chair was fantastic. Lisa took good care of me and many authors; Kate created the amazing Power Point; then there was Marcy who helped signing authors feel at home,
Johnnierenee Nia Nelson, who works with kids’ reading programs and all the judges who read many, many entries. There were many others involved who deserve kudos. too. Thank you!
I was thrilled to meet new authors (new to me) like Stacey and John Holley, who wrote Medals, Flags and Memories, dedicated to their son who was killed in Iraq. As they dealt with their indescribable pain, their heart wrenching journey led them to help other military families facing loss–by ensuring fallen soldiers are brought home with dignity and respect.
The Power of the Written Word. Healing and inspirational all at once. What a red carpet night, surrounded by the magic and power of the written word. Congratulations to all brave souls who submitted to the competition, all who were recognized, and all who made it possible. Onward!