Eclipsed by Shadow: winner of 2009 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Young Adult Fiction

eric-hoffer-award-bannerThe first book of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy, ECLIPSED BY SHADOW, won the 2009 Eric Hoffer Book Award for best Young Adult Fiction.

The Eric Hoffer Book Award was founded with permission from the Eric Hoffer Estate, “to honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit.” Personally, my excitement and respect for the award’s purpose increased even more as I learned more about Hoffer’s work.

Eric Hoffer (1898–1983) was a quintessential American, a working-class philosopher, whose clear voice was grounded in the practical experience of the common worker. His most famous book is The True Believer (1951) which helped advance the study of mass-movements and fanaticism. Hoffer continued to write on a wide range of subjects:

Vaguely at first then more distinctly I realized that man is an eternal stranger on this planet. He became a stranger when he cut himself off from the rest of Creation and became human. From this incurable strangeness stems our incurable insecurity, our unfulfillable craving for roots, our passion to cover the planet with man-made compounds, our need for the city—a citadel against the encroachment of nature.”“—Eric Hoffer, Between the Devil and the Dragon

I am especially thrilled to receive this award. It still offers inspiration because the controversies of Eric Hoffer’s day are ongoing … ‘true believers’ everywhere still remain a threat. We have, in fact, come to a place of being at war with that very phenomenon. Hoffer’s original ideas have been expanded and built upon, and to be recognized by those in the path of such motivating ideas is a great honor.

eric hoffer smoking

“It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations — past and present — are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual’s hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia.”

Eric Hoffer’s writings are a reminder of America’s post-war promise … his stance is decidedly pro-civilization, and he was himself a champion of the city; this often makes his work rather startling to read against current culture.

Though it may seem his work is sometimes overlooked in current cultural narratives, America’s working-class philosopher has been a seminal influence on modern understanding. His ideas remain an inspirational source of American thought.

Hoffer’s writing is grounded in the tradition of an America proud of its working class, building and progressing to a better world for all: his strong views and observations in celebration of civilization and the common man are still bracing ideas in the world. Which is quite hopeful, really.

The Legend of the Great International Review Giveaway Book Contest

A horse wearing glassesThe book will be shipped to each prospective reviewer free of charge, USA only please. Participants are asked to give their honest reader feedback on an online booksite.

It would be great to have your review comment by the end of November, unless you aren’t happy with the story in which case it is fine to wait. I appreciate your interest — Thank You!

Please email to join!



“The Legend of the Great Horse” wins the UBR Pitch Perfect Pick selection!

The Golden Spark won … ! The book was chosen as a ‘Perfect Pitch Pick’ by Underground Book Reviews and voted to victory by supporters on Facebook!


Underground Book Reviews sent the following announcement, and The Golden Spark was featured on the online magazine’s front page Wednesday (10/14):

Underground Book Review logoCongratulations!

The Golden Spark was selected as this week’s PPP winner, because it received the most likes and shares on Facebook. Your book will be featured as our Pitch Perfect Pick winner on Wednesday, and the pitch will go out to our 1,000+ magazine subscribers.

From the Underground Book Reviews About page:

At Underground Book Reviews, we think quality writing not only deserves thoughtful, patient analysis, it demands it. We also give indie & self-published authors the same respect we do traditional bestsellers.

I am especially grateful for independent review sites like Underground Book Reviews, who are helping bridge the gaps between independent writing and the system of today’s book industry.

The Golden Spark honored by Underground Book Reviews as “Pitch Perfect Pick”

The Golden Spark has been selected as a “Pitch Perfect Pick” by Underground Book Reviews!

This is a special independent honor for The Golden Spark“Underground Book Reviews is an online magazine that puts a spotlight on the emerging world of independent, e-publishing and self-publishing.” Here is the notice I received:

gh2_261x377_3e-r-FINThe Golden Spark was selected as a Pitch Perfect Pick Finalist!

Our judges analyzed your book’s pitch, sample content, and several other factors and found it’s initial presentation comparable to other quality books in its genre and market. Once qualified, it had to finish in the top five of all our weekly qualifiers. This is an honor not given lightly.

Next week I’ll share their official Facebook post for voting!

Revisiting “Eclipsed by Shadow” – The Reader Views Literary Awards

ECLIPSED BY SHADOW | 'The Legend of the Great Horse' trilogy book cover (90x135px)
2009 cover
In 2009, Eclipsed by Shadow won the Reader Views Literary Awards. This was the first honor for the trilogy (and also the first writing award for John Royce)!

I am very grateful for Reader Views and its founder, the late Irene Watson. The group not only created an accessible and honorable independent awards, it helped to pioneer new ways of serving authors online that are still being developed.

The Reader Views Literary Award review was given by Danelle Drake:

“The places you visit in Eclipsed by Shadow were really times in our great history. The Legend of the Great Horse series will have you wishing the tales were never-ending…” (see review)

Asking Readers to Help Spread the Word!

We live in a strange new era during which authors are being required to ‘market’ their own work … though no one actually WANTS authors to market to them, and every book venue expressly forbids it. This market-driven change not a good thing, but there is no choice.

Mrs. Bridgestone's Display Case with wooden plaque of Pegasos coinHelp from readers is most important now … I made a special page for readers willing to help spread the word by leaving a review comment or rating the work online.

If you have a moment and would like to help share the trilogy, please consider offering your thoughts for others.

It is very important to the success of the trilogy … Thank You!

The Great Horse trilogy at the 2015 EQUUS Film Festival Literary Corner

2015-EQUUS-Film-Festival_212x300The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy has been invited to take part in the 2015 EQUUS Film Festival!

Founded and directed by Lisa Diersen, the Festival is an annual showcase of film and other equestrian-themed artwork. I’m excited to announce the Legend of the Great Horse trilogy will take part this year … the event is being held in New York City from November 19-22.

This is the first time a literary section has been added to the EQUUS Film Festival as it grows–I’m proud to be one of 20 authors with work being presented this year.

I’m also happy to support such a positive and innovative new horse event! Horses are one of mankind’s original art subjects and their beauty and nobility still inspire us. In our machine age we need them even more than ever.

There will be more information as the event approaches!