Last month I received word that I was a finalist for the Scott Meyer Award. Read about it HERE. After getting over my complete shock at finding out someone liked my YA paranormal short story, The Haunting Season, I felt incredibly honored. You see, I'm a firm believer that we meet people for a reason. I first met Mr. Meyer when I attended a Writing YA workshop given by the wonderful author K.L. Going at Merritt Books. For many years, Scott has been a staple in Millbrook, a figure who stood for writers and readers and independent bookstores. Mr. Meyer introduced Ms. Going to the students as we sat in the upstairs part of the store. He was incredibly warm, obviously loved the written word, and had this sense of being down-to-earth and charming. His humor immediately put some of us first-timers at ease.
His bookstore has always had a homey feel to it and after enjoying and learning so much from my first workshop there, I found myself checking out their website often for upcoming events. I went to many, including author signings and various writing workshops. Besides the bookstore, I discovered the town also had a Literary Festival and so I had to go and see what it was all about. I immediately feel in love with their library, the spaciousness of it and the kind people. The festival itself offered readers so much to enjoy all day long. I've gone back almost every year.
The first time I went to the festival I met Eileen Charbonneau. That old adage of things happening for a reason proved true again. The genuinely warm lady with long hair and a quick smile became a friend and valued mentor to me. She is a very talented author, invaluable teacher, and a true kindred spirit. I attended her annual summer writing workshop held at Merritt Bookstores for three years and scheduled my family's vacation around her workshop date. I was sad when the classes had to end, but a friendship I greatly value had been created. Besides learning more about the craft of writing and having Eileen critique my pages each time, I also met and listened to the visiting author at each class where Scott would speak with wit and affection for each writer. If it weren't for him, his bookstore and the festival, my writing life would not be so enriched.
There are three finalists and I congratulate the other writers, Ray Fashona and Anna Geraldine Paret. No matter who wins I am already honored to have been singled out for an award named after someone who has impacted my life. Mr. Meyer has left behind quite a legacy and he will be greatly missed. The Eighth Annual Millbrook Literary Festival will be held on Saturday, May 21. The winner will be announced during a presentation at 12:45.