It's that time of year again, boys and girls.
The Golden Globe Awards were handed out last night. I'm actually writing this BEFORE the awards show, and probably won't watch, since I couldn't care less about the Golden Globes, but they have a certain significance, and it is not the one everybody always drones on about.
Yes, the Globes are seen as a precursor to the Oscars, which is a show I WILL watch largely because it's fun. But that's not the point. (I've actually seen a few of the contenders this year, and would root for THE ARTIST if it is nominated.) What's truly significant is that the Golden Globes represent the first shot in a seemingly endless war of awards shows in every possible branch of the entertainment biz. It is my unsubstantiated opinion that there are now more country music awards shows than there are country music artists, but it's possible I've miscounted. I was an English major.
The publishing industry, of course, is not immune to Awards-itis. And in the crime fiction field, an author can win an Edgar, an Agatha, a Lefty, an Anthony, probably a Phyllis or a Bob. There are plenty of awards out there for crime writers.
I know one very successful crime writer whose work was cited in the awards for worst sex scene of the year. When I sent him an email to congratulate him on the event, he said it was "an honor just to be nominated." Never having written an honest-to-goodness sex scene--yet--I can only imagine.
The politic thing to do around awards season (which is roughly all year except November) is to lay low. It is gauche to campaign for a nomination (and hard to figure out exactly how one would do that in the first place), and considered bad taste to admit to a hope for one. If the work is exemplary, it is implied, no arm-waving and shouting will be necessary. This is the same kind of logic which ensures that every leap year, the two absolutely smartest people in the country run against each other for president, because campaigning is unnecessary. The cream will rise to the top.
So allow me to be tasteless: Hell yes, I'd like an award for my work. I think the books I write are good. In some cases, I think they're better than the ones which actually win awards. Of course, I'm just a tad biased, and my definition of "better" might differ from that of, you know, everybody else. That's the thing--awards are incredibly subjective.
But if you're a nominator for any of the crime fiction awards and you're looking for something to read that won't make you want to slit your wrists, you could do worse than the two works I published last year, the novel AN UNINVITED GHOST (as E.J. Copperman) and the short story THE GUN ALSO RISES (as me, in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, January 2011).
Am I being tacky by admitting to award-lust? Would it be better if I were to simply trust in the voters and my own talent?
I've done that before. I've sat around, smug in my self-assurance that the book (whichever one) was clearly a work of superior talent (and to be fair, there was one of them that was pretty good). That positive reviews would be noticed. The power of humor would overcome the stodgy, pretentious leanings of award-givers. Surely the hard work I put into the writing would speak for itself.
My mantle, strikingly, remains unadorned. (I don't actually have a mantle, but you know what I mean.)
So this year, I'm being blatant. Yeah. I want the (fill in name) award. I think my book deserves it. I think *I* deserve it. And I'm going to scream from the mountaintops about it every chance I get. Assuming I can find a mountain near my house. It's winter, and plane schedules are iffy.
We'll see if it makes a difference (I'm betting not, but you never know). But I won't lie to you--I'd really like to get some recognition here.
Go ahead, nominate me. See if I care. Because I will.
* OLD HAUNTS will be published in 22 days.
* Pitchers and catchers report in 34 days.