“Can you talk???”

A few weeks ago my publisher, Melissa Carrigee, sent me an email with this in the subject line. She hadn’t written anything in the body of the email. But my email system, being ever so helpful, added this little reminder of its own accord:

You may have outstanding tasks for melissac. Would you like to review now?

Maybe it was this automated reminder. Or, maybe it was the sense of urgency in the message-less email, but I felt a twinge of dread creep over me. 

Independent Press Award

Uh-oh.  What have I done?

I emailed Melissa back immediately.  “Yes.”

She rang within minutes.

“Are you sitting down?”

Now the dread become more than a twinge.  

Oh boy, I’m in trouble. But what did I do?  

I started to work through a list of possible crimes and infractions. Earlier Melissa and I had been communicating about the audiobook of The Kimono Tattoo that Theresa Bakken was recording. I had wanted to listen to what she had done to check for any errors. Had I been too slow to respond? (Note: Theresa Bakken’s narration is brilliant! I’ll post about it when the audiobook is released.)

Other than that, Melissa and I had worked on a post-production edit of The Kimono Tattoo. I’d been annoyed at the number of errors, both grammatical and factual, readers had kindly pointed out. 

Softwear instead of software!  

I’d even let slip a reference to Shikoku as a Prefecture!  It’s not! Never has been. And I couldn’t imagine how I made such a silly mistake unless it happened during a cut and paste operation somehow. 

I read over the novel again. With my eyes clearer, after nearly a year away from the text, I’d found other mistakes.  Melissa worked with me on updating the manuscript and trying to get the e-book version corrected.

She must have bad news about that. All that work and our e-book can’t be updated.

“I’m sitting down.”

“THE KIMONO TATTOO IS THE WINNER OF THE 2022 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD FOR MULTICULTURAL FICTION!!!!!”

“Wait, what?”

“You won!”

“How?”

“I submitted your book, and you won!”

I had no idea. 

Indie Award for The Kimono Tattoo

Earlier Melissa and I talked about submitting for a Kindle Award. I entered the contest and paid the fee, feeling all the while that my winning would be unlikely. Still, it doesn’t hurt to try. And now here I learned that The Kimono Tattoo DID win an award.  An Independent Press Award.

I was proud of me, but also proud of Melissa. She works so hard for her authors. She believes in us even when others don’t. Even when we don’t believe in ourselves!

“Thank you, Melissa.”

We ended the phone call after a few more exclamations of excitement. Melissa has a wonderful way of never wasting time.

I couldn’t ask for a better publisher.