Yeah, yeah the jolly man’s coming, you’ve got shopping and baking to do and gifts to wrap. I understand. But that’s not the season I’m talking about.

It’s contest season!

And for this self-proclaimed contest-slut it means counting my money and budgeting … and deciding where I’d like to put my babies for judging. Yep, I’m one of those authors. I have been since I first put fingers to keyboard. It’s not my fault really. I blame my hardwiring. I have always wanted to be the best at anything I’ve done. Grades. Sports. School projects. Writing reports (my classmates hated my brown-nosed 10 page papers when the teacher only asked for 3). Anything and everything. I want to be the best.

I’m a terrible speller. Seriously bad. But I studied those spelling words every week and got 100’s on the test. The only problem was the monthly spelling bee. I worked so hard, but it was all for naught. Inevitably I was out in the first round. Then came the day I came home beaming in 5th grade and announced I’d finally been second in the spelling bee. My parents were so proud of my hard work … until I informed them I was the second one OUT instead of the first.

But I never gave up.

My drive got me straight A’s in middle school, high honors in high school and valedictorian of my college class. It’s won me awards in school and work. I just don’t know how to run half throttle. Lord knows there are times I wish I could. But I’ve come to accept this about myself.

So now I’m writing. This means entering my writing in contests to be judged against other amazingly talented writers. I never finalled in a contest for unpublished writers. And trust me when I say … I entered A LOT of them! But now I have my first print book. HEALER’S GARDEN is now in a format that many contests for published authors require. And I’m going in!

I love this book. I want others to love it too. Yes, it’s gotten rave reviews, but it hasn’t won anything … yet. I’m pleased it’s finalled in the Eppies. Over-the-moon happy about it. It’s just not enough. I want it to be. But I can’t stop myself.

There are many authors/readers who don’t really pay attention to contest finals and/or wins. I know this, but I justify the contests as a marketing tool for my books as well. My name and title are flying through the internet with the list of finalists. It’s really pretty cool.

So this week, before the holiday mail gets too crazy (because most contests have a January deadline) I’m packing up books, contest forms and checks, getting everything in the mail and crossing my fingers. I just can’t help myself.

What about you? As a reader do you pay more attention to books that finalled in contests? And writers how do you feel about this whole contest thing? Because you know me … I’m dying to know how you feel.

And don’t forget to stop at this POST and leave a comment for a chance to win a box full of anniversary gifts including a print copy of “Healer’s Garden”.

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