Best Youth Novel – Sir Julius Vogel Awards

I won? That shout you heard last night from my house here in Lotopa, startling all the birds asleep in the mango tree outside – was me. Finding out that my book FIRE’S CARESS was announced in Wellington NZ, as the winner of the BEST YOUTH NOVEL award in the 2022 Sir Julius Vogel Awards. So grateful and thrilled for this book from the Telesa World!

The awards recognize excellence in science fiction, fantasy, or horror works created by New Zealanders and New Zealand residents. The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are administered by SFFANZ, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand Inc

Thank you to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of NZ for this honor and for all the work they do to nurture and celebrate sci-fi and fantasy writing. Awards like these help to shine a light on a diverse range of writers and their art, and help take our books to a wider audience.

This book was several years in the making as I worked on different directions this story could take, put the book away for long intervals, and then dusted it off to give it another reworking. So it’s a story with characters who changed quite a bit during the writing – changing as my perspective on certain things changed! My daughters played a key part in that metamorphosis as they were the most fiapoto critics of my characters. And as usual, they were right! Keahi ended up being who he is because of their valuable input. So thank you Sade, Zion and Bella. You were right, “Stalking is not sexy or romantic mum!”

It was my awesome NZ publisher OneTree House Press that nominated FIRES CARESS for this award. I thought it was a wild shot ie I thought it was an impossibility lol. I appreciate their faith in this book. Thank you to Pip Desmond, the editor who helped make this book better.

As always though, it’s you the readers who make things like these SJV awards possible. You have embraced my stories from the start, and been amazing about celebrating the Telesa World books – long before trad publishers / critics /award panels ever even heard of them. Faafetai lava. Today is a good day to be a writer.