Dragon Award Nominations – Make Yours Now

Dragon Award Nominations – Make Yours Now

I had the privilege of going to Dragon Con over the Labor Day weekend this year. Yes, I should have been at home helping with hurricane cleanup, but I wanted to go to have the chance to learn about writing, and the marketing of writing, from some of the best. And that I did. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make Dragon Con next year, but I would really enjoy the opportunity.

One of the highlights of Dragon Con comes during the Dragon Con Awards in various categories. One of the surprise nominees the last two years has been R.R. Virdi for his books Grave Measures, and Dangerous Ways. Dangerous Ways was just announced as the “Book of the Year” for 2016 by Drop of Ink reviews. Both books were nominated in the Fantasy category – they’re Urban Fantasy masterpieces. I had the chance to meet Virdi and truly enjoyed him as a person. Another author I had the chance to meet was D.R. Perry whose book, A Change in Crime, was nominated in the category of Alternative History. Perry whose series on Providence Paranormal College is highly whimsical, was equally skilled at this Prohibition era crime thriller – with a twist. She is also a wonderful person.

I mention this because you can begin making nominations for the Dragon Awards for the 2018 convention. You can only nominate once in any category, so use your nominations wisely. You can go back and nominate in another category later if you come across a worthy nominee. I’m going to be honest with you and share my nominees so far. First, in the Fantasy section, I’m pretty sure that R.R. Virdi’s newest release, Grave Dealings, is one of the best books of the year and is a worthy candidate. I seriously considered E.A. Copen’s book, Playing With Fire, for this category, but I stayed with Virdi’s book because I love it just a little more than Copen’s book. I’d also like to see Virdi get a third nomination. Could the third time be the charm? Speaking of Copen, though, her book Beasts of Babylon is awesome and a worthy nominee in the horror category. Beasts of Babylon was just named book of the year for 2017 by Drop of Ink reviews. I think this book deserves the nomination and support. I had a chance to meet Copen at Dragon Con as well and found her also to be a great person.

There’s one other book I will probably nominate: Wiser Guys by D.R. Perry. I haven’t read it yet, but if it’s the quality of A Change in Crime then I’ll be happy to lend it the recognition it deserves.

So here’s my suggestions. First, read the books I’ve mentioned to see if they’re worthy of nominating in your view. If not, then nominate your favorite books in these categories. Second, make the nominations. Third, Dragon Con is an overwhelming experience, but let me suggest that you look into going if you like those convention experiences. The experience was amazing.

Just a note on how I linked: Links on the author’s names go to their websites. Links on their books go to their Amazon pages so you can see all their work.

Oh the Horror!

#5MinuteFiction has undergone some changes. First, there is a new home. The Writing Network is now the new home of #5MinuteFiction. Second, the voting will continue until noon on Thursday. Third, we have no indications of current vote totals. So, we have to keep drumming up support.

That being said, last night’s #5MinuteFiction just begged for a horror story. The prompt was “Your character is walking alone at night in a secluded area and the flashlight goes out. There are no other lights around, and they’re certain that there’s nobody else there with them. Then suddenly, they hear a noise behind them.”

The only problem was, that I don’t do horror. I have never done horror.  I have never had an appreciation for horror. Naturally, my story was a horror story…although many questions were left unanswered.  Enjoy, then go vote for me at the Finalists Link.


Joseph swept the flashlight back and forth. He thought that it was a good thing he wasn’t superstitious, because cutting across the graveyard to get home would be creepy otherwise. He heard a sound and jumped a bit, then laughed as he swung the light and saw the possum scurry past. “Ok, maybe I’m not so brave,” he said with a wry smile, knowing that no one could hear him.

He tripped over a root he had missed because he had started laughing. The flashlight fell out of his hand and rolled a few feet in front of him. He silently cursed his stupidity and crawled to get the flashlight. It had suffered in the fall, and fell completely apart when he picked it up. “Blast it all!” he yelled to no one in particular. Then, he tried to put it back together – without luck. He began to feel a little weird.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have taken this shortcut,” he thought to himself. He knew that as he thought that, it wasn’t because this place was creepy. He was rational enough not to be worried about that. It’s that the place was so dark, as if the trees and the graves swallowed any light that might have helped him find his way. “It’s a good thing I’m not the type that frightens easily,” he said out loud as if hearing his own voice might give him comfort.

He picked his way slowly, using his feet like a blind man’s cane looking for anything that might be dangerous. There was no reason for him to be afraid, just annoyed. He began to make progress when he heard what sounded like a low moan. He stopped and looked around not seeing much of anything. “Musta been the wind,” he thought seeking to console himself. He willed himself not to realize that the night sky was still, with no evidence of any wind.

He continued making progress, but after traveling about ten yards more, he heard the moan again. This time he didn’t fool himself. He recognized that the night air was still. There was no wind to create a moan. Something was there. He tried walking more quickly, but the going got rougher. The moaning got louder and it began to have an intelligible sound to it. He wasn’t scared, of course, but he decided it just made sense to run. He went as fast as he could in the dark until he tripped and fell right in front of a grave stone. The writing was light against the stone and he could barely make out the dates. April 5, 1954 – September 16, 2013. Last year. The person here had died last year!

He started to get up, when he was pushed down by a force that he couldn’t see. He felt it on the small of his back. The moan got louder and more intelligible. He was beginning to hear words, but he couldn’t see anyone. The pressure on his back got worse, but as he reached back, he touched nothing. Then, the moan finally generated words he could understand. “No, this is not the one. Let him go.”

The pressure disappeared. Joseph stayed on the ground, fighting back tears of fright. He didn’t know who the one was, but he was grateful he wasn’t the one. Even though there was no pressure, he was so scared now that he didn’t wan’t to get up. He hoped the moon would rise soon. Only then would he get up and finish walking home.