The God Franchise: A Theory of Everything has just won the prestigious Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Book Award 2012. It was judged best book in a field of over fifty entries.
The AWCT Book Awards have been awarded for the past nine years and seek to “reward excellence for a published book in the ‘mind, body, spirit’ genre.” Amongst other criteria, the judges considered “the work’s ability to enhance the understanding of people in society.” They were also looking for “a significant addition to the ‘mind, body, spirit genre.” With a prize of $10,000, this is one of the major awards for writers in New Zealand, and certainly the major one for this type of work.
If you have bought a copy of The God Franchise you will have seen the words “Ashton Wylie Charitable Unpublished Manuscript Award 2011 Finalist” on the front cover. To this I can now add “Ashton Wylie Charitable Book Award 2012 Winner.”
May I share with you how I came to be an award-winning author? I first heard of the Ashton Wylie Book Awards seven years ago when my wife and I were invited to attend the Awards evening. I had been interested in writing for many years, but had never written a book before. Anyway, each time we went to the Awards evening I vowed that my book would one day be there on the finalists table. I was very clear about it, and felt certain that I could write a book that would be worthy of a spot on that table.
Two years ago, when I was writing The God Franchise, I decided to enter it in the Awards as an Unpublished Manuscript, which has its own prize, and I was very pleased when it was nominated as a finalist by the judges. The day after that award ceremony in August 2011, the AWCT held a day of seminars for writers, and the theme was self-publishing. I decided there and then that is what I would do.
I had seven months in which to publish The God Franchise, and so qualify for this year’s Book Award, and I managed it in five months. The rest, as they say, is history.
The moral of the story: Never overlook the power of vows – both positive ones and negative ones. They will strive to fulfil themselves.