Book of Mercy Finalist in Midwest Book Awards

Book of Mercy was a finalist in the 22nd Annual Midwest Book Awards, which were announced on May 9 in Bloomington, MN.

Is this a big deal?

I interviewed Antigone Brown, the main character in Book of Mercy, about her view of this momentous event. She is a mother-to-be who stands up to the book banners in her small North Carolina town, even though she can’t read.

Me: So Antigone how are you feeling about this nomination?

Antigone: They like me. They REALLY like me.

Me: Yeah, it was cool to be nominated. Publishers from 12 Midwestern states submitted 362 entries in 50 categories in this year’s competition.

Antigone: That many? Well, it’s validation. [Lowers voice.] After all, this was an indie (self-published) book.

Me: Why do you need validation?

Antigone: In the fiction world, as a female lead character, everybody is comparing you to either Scarlet O’Hara or Katniss Everdeen.

Me: Really? I had no idea.

Antigone: Yes. I only take on a group of highly influential women removing “undesirable” books from the school library . . .

Me: And don’t forget the pie thrower.

Antigone: How could I? I’m still washing that banana cream out of my clothes. But Scarlet in Gone with the Wind faced down the Union Army, and Katniss in The Hunger Games outmaneuvered mutant killer wasps. Tough competition.

Me: Personally, I hate contests.

Antigone: I’m with you. But we live in a world consumed by contests, from sports to American Idol and the Academy Awards.

Me: Still, I’m sorry I didn’t pit you against hordes of fighting men or an evil empire.

Antigone: Irene (the leader of the censors) was evil enough.

Me: Cheer up. You have a secret library. I doubt Scarlet ever read a book, and Katniss was too busy trying to feed her family.

Antigone: Yes. Bookhenge. Nice name for a library, by the way. But back to all these contests. I’m beginning to wonder what my child will be compared to.

Me: You’re always worrying about that baby.

Antigone: Of course. What’s a parent to do?

Me: You have many agonizing years ahead of you. There will be school recitals and pageants and spelling bees.

Antigone [shudders]: Kids called me a loser because I had trouble reading. I don’t want that for my child. I don’t see why we have to make comparisons at all.

Me: Because if you lose, it is supposed to make you try harder the next time.

Antigone: You mean, in the next book, you’ll try to write a better me?

Me: There is no better you. I will write a different you.

Antigone: Make her skinnier. She’ll like that.

The Midwest Book Awards are sponsored by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association.


If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog, make a comment, or check out Book of Mercy. It would make Antigone happy, but please don’t compare her to Scarlet or Katniss. She gets touchy about those folks.


Book of Mercy Finalist in Midwest Book Awards — 5 Comments

      • I taught Kindergarten for 4 years before University so have the sticker thing down pat: you put them either on your cheek – either side- or on your forehead, but never both. That would be tacky. However, it is permissable to also apply stickers to the forehead of absolutely everyone in your family (though you may have to do it while they’re sleeping), friends (ditto), and complete strangers in the grocery (hit&run, I mean, stick&run). Congrats! I didn’t even know Indie authors’ books could be considered for said things: usually publishers only are allowed to submit, so take it as the extreme honor it is. (And don’t forget my sticker, which I’ll proudly wear for you & BOOK OF MERCY) Love,

        • Thanks for the lesson in sticker ettiquete. To think I almost plastered my entire face. How gauche. You crack me up, lady. My next tweet may be from jail on a stick and run.

          • Thank god I saved you from “Le gauche” in time. If you end up in jail for a stick&run, swallow all remaining stickers and remain calm till I bail you out. Unless I get banned, in which case simply swallow stickers in order to resist temptation to plaster them all over judge’s face (who will then show neither you nor your Award-nominated BOOK OF MERCY any at all). You do know that you can forever after put the fact that BOOK OF MERCY was Finalist in MBAwards on cover and in book description, don’t you? Tell any NY agents or Houses which rejected it where they can stick that: on both cheeks, and not the ones on the face. LOL (both versions)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

256,755 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments