I’m delighted to announce that the first of the Wright & Tran Novels, “Face Value” has just been announced as the winner of the Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize for 2017.

The BookLife Prize is an annual writing contest sponsored by BookLife, Publishers Weekly and in 2017, Thomson-Shore. The Prize seeks to support independent authors and discover great written works in seven categories: Romance/Erotica; Mystery/Thriller; Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror; General Fiction; Memoir/Autobiography; YA Fiction; and Middle-Grade Fiction. The Prize is judged by PW reviewers, editors, acclaimed authors, and publishing veterans.

It’s been quite the ride since my book was entered back in March of this year and at each step of the way I’ve become a little more excited. The initial phase, from March to August, saw all entries being judged by the professional book reviewers of Publishers Weekly. The submissions with the 10 highest scores in each genre moved into the quarter-finals. In truth, I was happy to have made it that far.
Each quarter-finalist was then critically assessed by the editorial staffs of Publishers Weekly and BookLife and then five from each of the seven categories were selected on merit by PW and BookLife’s editors to advance to the semifinals. Each category of semi-finalist would be judged by a guest author who specialised in the appropriate genre.

Having learnt I’d gone through, I waited fairly nervously to see what the judge of the Mystery/Thriller category would make of my novel. To discover that it was Mark Dawson, one of the most commercially successful indie authors in the world, didn’t make the wait any easier.
However, on the 31st October, before I’d even had a chance to check my emails, I saw a tweet congratulating all seven of the finalists and I was included in the message. Sure enough, I had won the best Mystery/Thriller title and saw that the judge had commented:

Two unusual private investigators with classified backgrounds take on a seemingly straightforward case to track down missing parents. With taut writing, bone-crushing action, and a pace that never relents, this was a difficult read to put down and a worthy winner.” — Mark Dawson

I was stoked! Since then I’ve tried to wait patiently, not dwelling on what would be revealed on the 18th of December and, for the most part, I’ve succeeded. However, when I received the email telling me the result, I was, for one of the few times in my life, lost for words.
As one of the biggest prizes for indie authors and with it being parented by Publishers Weekly, the American weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents that has been published continuously since 1872, I’m not quite sure what it will mean or bring to me, but at the present time, I am simply thrilled to have been given the award.
I started out on my indie author path three and a half years ago and on occasion, it has been a tough gig. I have made numerous mistakes and missteps, but today is a good day and in no small measure has validated my journey.

So, to all those that have read my books to date and to those that may do now, thanks. I really do appreciate each and every one of you.

Ian Andrew is the penanme of Ian Hooper, author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purposethe detective thriller series featuring Face Value and Flight Path and some silly poem books – Google books by Ian Andrew  or books by Ian Hooper – you’ll find them 🙂 All are available in e-book and paperback and some are also in Audio.