Three months ago, I submitted the first fifty pages of The Secret War to The James Jones First Novel Fellowship contest. ($10,000!) I’d actually intended to mail them the first fifty pages of my second novel, but since I was only on page 22 or so back then, I had to make a little last minute substitution.
They e-mailed me this morning to say the book’s in their finalist round, which makes me happy. It’s always terrific to make somebody’s cut, and this one is particularly gratifying because the award is intended to “honor the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into modern culture exemplified by the late James Jones. . . .” I also happen to love Deborah Kerr (okay, Burt Lancaster figures in there too), who was so magnificent in From Here to Eternity.
I don’t know if you’ve been following the saga of my short stories — the ones that keep getting dinged by one fine literary journal after the other — but I think it was about time for a little good news around now, don’t you?