In 2019, I attended Dublin WorldCon alone (my father had planned to join me, but he fell ill that year … so I flew across the ocean and sent home every picture I could take, showing him the city and the beautiful countryside). Friday morning, I walked the from my hotel to the main conference center. Through a glass revolving door and past several groups of mingling SFF enthusiasts, I found the dealer’s area. I’d left room in my suitcase for a couple new books (fun fact: I bought way more than a couple) and wanted to grab them early. That’s when I came upon a table covered with copies of Locus Magazine.
At the time, my first book, Elatsoe, had just been announced. With bated breath (for real), I found the July 2019 copy of Locus Magazine and flipped through pages of articles and announcements until …
It was surreal. Wonderful. Physical proof that I’d accomplished a dream. I bought four copies and carried them with me all conference, as if holding the paper-and-ink announcement would stop me from waking up, from losing this tiny light in an otherwise dark year.
This summer, 2021, I accepted the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Elatsoe won. When the trophy arrives, I’ll place it beside the copies of Locus Magazine, July 2019. Yeah, I still keep those close.
To the SFF community–to every reader, writer, editor, and fan who championed for my book and supported me during a terribly difficult debut year–thank you. I wouldn’t be here without you.
Here’s a link to my full Locus Award acceptance speech: