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 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)

Book awards

To support the launch of the finished book covers by Marti Adrian this fall, there is supposed to be ‘marketing’ going on. That hardly makes sense because it’s my book. Instead I’d like to refresh the trilogy’s awards … something I’ve wanted to do because they were rushed together at the time.

The first award for Eclipsed by Shadow was the Reader Views Literary Awards, winning second in the Historical Fiction category in 2009.

Absolutely it was exciting, and also because the honor showed the story engaged with people who didn’t especially know or even like horses.

It was my hope to engage people with no particular interest in horses, yet who might enjoy them and don’t know it.

The horse’s human story deserves to be remembered–and as many horse-lovers know, it is a joyful experience to share.