Welcome to Award Wednesdays for the rest of the month of December. We'll be posting Word Nerd's usual award categories -- Discovered Author, First Book in a Series and the Top 10 list over the next three weeks. We're combining our picks for the first two and then we'll each post a Top 10 list just before Christmas. Not that you have to take our word for it, but there might be some last-minute gift ideas on that last list for the book-lover in your world.
As with these awards in past years, the criteria is its a book that we've read in the past year. Publication date is irrelevant, so a really old book that we just stumbled on to could be the winner.
So, now that the 'splainin' is out of the way, the first category up is Best Discovered Author. This is the first year for two judges and we weren't expecting this, but this year's pick is UNANIMOUS for Brad Parks, author of "Faces of the Gone."
Stacie offers her explanation for why he won:
I actually had the privilege of meeting Brad while at Bouchercon 2009. At the time, we resembled sardines in a can, but had drinks in hand so it was tolerable. The witty conversation with Brad definitely increased the enjoyment level, enough so that I forgot about the sardine situation. I was delighted to find that his book was just as fabulous. "Eyes of the Innocent" is out February 2011 and I can't wait to see what's up for this spunky reporter.
Brad not exactly a stranger here on Word Nerd. Here's my review of his book and here's the interview I did with him after that sardine-like meeting. I totally agree with Stacie's assessment of that situation.
So why did Brad get the nod from me in this category too? Simple. Of all the times in the past year where I've thought Gosh, I should read that book and actually managed to pick it up, Brad's debut is the one where I'm most looking forward to reading something else by the same author. There are others that I read for the first time this year, but I'm not actively checking the library catalog for when I can put the next, as-yet-unreleased-book on hold for anybody else. (No, sadly, "Eyes of the Innocent" is not yet available through the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library... if it's anything like "Faces", it will be a long, impatient-on-my-part wait.)
I'm sure both Stacie and I are hoping there will be opportunity to chat with Brad again at Bouchercon 2011. Maybe just with less sardine-ness this time.