When I got home from the Oklahoma tour, I Googled myself to see if I had missed any reviews of The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, and I discovered my name has been submitted to the Mystery Writers of America to be considered for an Edgar Award nomination. The Mystery Writers of America is a prestigious national organization of professional mystery writers, and for an author, winning an Edgar (named for Edgar Allan Poe), is rather like winning an Oscar for an actor. I have my publisher, Robert Rosenwald of Poisoned Pen Press, to thank for that very great honor.
The Old Buzzard is also being considered for inclusion in the “Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma” project for 2006. The state of Oklahoma marks it centennial in 2007, and the “Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma” project is an activity from the Oklahoma Centennial Commistion that invites Oklahomans to read and discuss works about the state. A subcommitee of the commission nominates six book titles a year, all of which are about Oklahoma or written by Oklahomans. Readers can then vote online from September through October for one book from the list of six. The winning selection is announced in November, and the reading and discussion programs take place the following year. The first “election” took place in 2003, and there will be a different book elected every year through 2007. The 2005 winner was Walking the Choctaw Road, by Tim Tingle. A list of past winners and more information about the program (and how to vote, if you’re an Oklahoman, Dear Reader) can be found at www.okreadsok.org.
The Old Buzzard Had It Coming is also in contention for the Oklahoma Book Award, which is selected from all books with an Oklahoma-based theme, or an author, illustrator or designer who lives or has lived in Oklahoma. This sixteen-year-old award is offered each year by the Oklahoma Center for the Book, a division of the state library system. I’ll find out in February if I’m a finalist.
This is all very heady stuff. I often think of myself sitting at this very computer three or four years ago, all innocent and unaware, typing away at what I considered to be a pleasant little divertisment. Whether the book ever wins any awards or not, I look back and think it turned out well, and I’m very pleased. I hope all my loved ones whose lives I culled for colorful incidents feel the same. We did good, Ma.