PROM-ises by Joshilyn Jackson
The 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards are now open for voting, and author Joshilyn Jackson’s A Grown-Up Kind Of Pretty, is up in the fiction category. She stops by to share how an award like this makes her feel. And please note – this doesn’t reflect the attitude of Shelf Pleasure. We welcome any “candidates” to stop by and share their platform at any time.
– Kristen & Stacy, Shelf Pleasure
by Joshilyn Jackson
I wasn’t nominated for prom queen. Most girls weren’t, actually. And me? I spent junior prom in a basement, rolling a couple of twenty-sided dice and hoping my fire blast would crit while pretending to be a half-elf sorceress named Mystique. In my mind, Mystique looked exactly like Joan Jett, if you gave Joan Jett some serious hair extensions and prosthetic Spock ears.
I did go to my senior prom. My date was a great guy–He STILL is, actually, and I like his boyfriend a lot, too. Which is to say, yeah, we had fun, but it wasn’t the pink dress, rosy, romantical evening that ends with kissing in a tiara at the front of the gym while the whole school cheers.
I remember the girls who were on homecoming court and the like. They didn’t campaign. They just…what? Hoped? In the movies, awful, snotty
prom-queen wannabes pass out cupcakes with catchy icing slogans, only to lose to the brown-haired secretly beautiful girl who took off her glasses in the third act.
Now I find one of my books in the reader-y version of a Prom-court popularity contest. While I’m not sure it’s good for my spiritual development, it IS exposing my Southern Gothic, darkly humorous, mystery/love-story/family drama mash-up to a wider audience. That feels good. And, yeah…I have to
admit it feels awfully good to be nominated.
A Grown Up Kind of Pretty is a semifinalist over on GOODREADS for Best Fiction of 2012. Cool, huh?
This is how it works, according to Goodreads, “Instead of consulting publishing experts or a judging panel…we analyze statistics from the 170 million books added, rated, and reviewed on the site in 2012 and nominate based on a book’s number of ratings and average rating. So a nomination is truly an honor because it comes straight from the readers!”
Do I want Pretty to make it to the finals? LORD, YES. OF COURSE. But let’s be honest here. The “Best” book is not going to win. I’m not even saying mine
I am SLIGHTLY biased towards A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty in that I created it. I love it like it was a chunk of me I cut off and threw into the world. Not a crappy chunk either, not split-ended bits of hair or nail clippings. It is a paper version of my liver, or my own, personal, beloved left foot. Still, I know
there IS no “best” book on this list.
In art and entertainment, “best” is totally subjective. Very few people have even read every semi-finalist. People are going to vote like they would for Prom Queen–for the book they know, for the book they just LIKE, for whatever reason.
Any of these books–I have read seven of them, and yeah, they were REALLY good–any could honorably move on to the finals. So how do I campaign? It’s tacky to offer prizes–like those glittery, pink, prommishy cupcakes the hateful blonde antagonist passes out in every bad John Hughes Rip Off film.
Cupcake style prizes say, “I don’t care what you think, I JUST want to buy your vote.”
So, here is what I am doing. If the book makes the finals, I will post a short story, free. It’s like offering a super SPECIFIC flavor of cupcake—southern, bloody, snake-infested cake with darkly comic Jesus Truck icing and one-eyed grandfather shaped sprinkles. It’s a prize guaranteed to ONLY appeal to people who like my writing
Also, I’ve asked the small but dedicated crack team of long-time best beloveds who’ve follow my blog, since before gods in Alabama was published, to
help spread the word about the vote to other fans they know. If I make the finals, then, Lord help me, I’ve agreed to dance GANGNAM STYLE in a hideous celebration.
This appeals to ABSOLUTELY NO ONE, but should be at least amusing to my oldest and dearest fans…they know I didn’t dance publicly AT MY ACTUAL PROM because I can’t walk across a room without tripping over a dust mote, probably landing on my butt, most likely on the table smack in the middle of your plate of salad.
Maybe the dance promise is the smartest move of all. A way to feel the tiniest bit relieved instead of only sad if the book doesn’t make the finals. *grin*
At any rate, I hope you’ll go to Goodreads and vote for your favorites in the various catagories. I think every author up there feels just like me: nervous and hopeful, wondering if they’ll get to dust off that pink dress and get fitted for tiaras, after all.
New York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson lives in Decatur, Georgia with her husband, Scott, their two children, Sam and Maisy Jane, and two feckless, dog-shaped wastrels who answer to Bagel and Ansley, especially if you are holding bacon.
She is the author of five novels: gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Backseat Saints, and, in January of 2012,
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the year, twice been a #1 Book Sense Pick, and twice been shortlisted for the Townsend prize.
A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of her novels; her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award, was selected by AudioFile Magazine for their best of the year list, has made the 2012 Audible All-Star list for highest listener ranks/reviews, and garnered a Listen Up Award from Publisher’s Weekly. In 2012 Jackson began reading the audio versions of books written by other novelists, beginning with Shine Shine Shine by
She is hard at work on a new novel titled Someone Else’s Love Story, expected in 2014.
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