Sunday, August 21, 2016

Taking the Expat Exit – Finalist 2016 Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Awards

Taking the Expat Exit (formerly A Per­fect Day for an Expat Exit) was named finalist for the 2016 Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Award.  (In 2014 it was short-list finalist and a finalist 2012.)  Last year, the sequel Caught in a Mouse­trap: Expats at Play (formerly The Girl in the Bathtub), was also a finalist (and a finalist for 2012 Novel-in-Progress category).  Both are set in Penang, Malaysia.

This year, for some reason, Caught in a Mouse­trap: Expats at Play was only a semi-finalist along with two other novels, The Summer of Sizzle (my latest, completed in May) and An Unex­pected Gift from a Growling Fool, a short-list finalist in 2013.  Another novel, The Resurrection of Jonathan Brady, was a short-list finalist in the 2014 Faulkner-Wis­dom Novel contest (and Quarter-finalist in 2012 Amazon Breakthrough) and my novella The Act of Theft, a finalist in 2014 Novella category. 

Judging can be rather subjective, though my two Malaysian-set novels seem to strike a chord with the judges.  At least one of my novels has been a finalist or a short list finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Award every year since 2011.  Not a bad track record.  Shows I’m consistent as I persistently rewrite them as I write new novels.  Hopefully this year, one can finally win.

While waiting for the 2016 results, it’s back to work on my sixth novel, having compiled notes on it for nearly two years.  Sooner or later, one of my novels will break out.  It’s only a matter of time.  Having recently slogged my way through a third marathon, I know what it’s like to keep at it, advice I gleaned from Dory.  

    —Borneo Expat Writer

*update, an excerpt from this was published in French. 

**Taking the Expat Exit repeats as finalist in 2017, though double the amount of entries. 


Andrea Boult said...

You know what they say, right? The more you practise, the luckier you get. In your case, the more you write-submit-rewrite-resubmit, the closer you will be to your goal. I read Joseph Schooling's journey to his maiden Olympic gold medal last weekend. It was 7 years in the making. Seven years of focused training, visualization and obsessively trying, correcting, retrying, correcting every move in the pool. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep rewriting. Keep resubmitting. I truly believe one day, like Schooling, you will hit gold.

On a separate note, I went for a book talk recently and the author said "I always make it a point to thank writers whose works inspire me; because writing can be a very lonely process."

I have read and re-read your two books and I have attended two creative writing workshops conducted by you. I would like to thank you for inspiring me to write all those stories that have been floating in my head; and most importantly, take action.

I have taken my first small step by posting my stories on my blog Hopefully, one fine day, these stories will see the light of day in print.

Once again, thank you Robert for being a huge inspiration. Fingers crossed for your finalist entry in the 2016 Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Awards.

Borneo Expat Writer said...

Andrea, thank you! Always believe, despite any evidence to the contrary, that everyone is conspiring to help you to achieve your goal. It all starts with you, with the words that you put down on paper, the words that you carefully craft and allow to breathe – by giving them life.