The Los Angeles Book Festival named “Sweet Mary” by two time Pulitzer Prize Winner Liz Balmaseda its 2010 Grand Prize Winner—congratulations Liz! My novel “Stan Lerner’s Criminal”, as it did at the London Book Festival received the First Honorable Mention. So “Criminal” has now won the Grand Prize at the Hollywood Book Festival and received the First Honorable Mention at both the London and Los Angeles Book Festivals—not so bad for a UCLA dropout, I suppose. In the case of the London Book Festival I wrote a blog that explored my feelings with respect to my expectations of always having to win and ultimately the journey of writing and publishing “Criminal”. If you haven’t read my London Book Festival blog please do so, because the words I am now hoping to conjure up won’t be of the recycled variety.
The results were announced online (Feb 25th 2010) as I sat at my favorite coffee house in Montebello, a suburb of LA and my hometown. A few days earlier I had just returned from the continuation of my much written about journey “Road To Nowhere”. This time the “Road To Nowhere” had picked back up in Missoula Montana and gone as far as Washington DC—I had been planning to write about this affair of the road until the moment the news of “Criminal’s” most recent festival result appeared on my screen. Happily, I did not experience the angst previously described in my London Book Festival blog, rather I felt, for lack of a more literary term, relaxed—basically I’m okay with things these days.
Yes, it would still be nice if the publishing establishment and big booksellers could find a way to work with artists such as myself that don’t exactly fit any kind of mold or formula. And it would be great if the motion picture studios and or production companies sought out award winning artists and their works, instead of relying on simply what’s fed to them by a few powerful agencies that can throw in a star or two as part of a package. And as I mention these major shifts of paradigm I would like to see happen one day, I can’t help but to think of a recent article in the Los Angeles Downtown News, which focused on downtown’s writers, it had a nice picture of them at Metropolis Books on Main Street (I’ve done two reading at this store, lived downtown for fifteen years, and have won more awards than the entire group combined.)—no picture or mention of Stan Lerner though. And I mean this genuinely from my heart—it’s okay. I don’t understand it, but I’m okay with it… Continue reading