What a thrill and a delight, as my friend George Militzer (RIP) used to say, to have my book Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss honored last night at the San Diego Book Awards as the Best Published Memoir.
I know it’s a cliché, but it’s still true and heartfelt: I can’t say “Thank You!” enough to all of the fellow writers, fellow survivors of violent loss, friends, and family members who helped me polish and publish this book, and to all the readers and supporters who turned the book into a highly rated Amazon best-seller. And thanks to the SDBAA for sponsoring this event to recognize the contributions and achievements of San Diego’s writers.
I especially thank Janis, my dear spouse and partner in life, for her unwavering support and for encouraging me when I was ready to throw in the towel. (Unfortunately, she did not feel well and could not attend the awards event last night.) (And yes, dear, I know I need a haircut.)
I’ve said this before, and please forgive me for continuing to say it, but the success of the book is bittersweet. I would have preferred to never have had to write it and about the devastation the violent deaths of my parents, Loren and Jody Edwards, wreaked upon our family.
The truly rewarding aspect of this is that people are getting the message about violent loss and what happens to the survivors, the living co-victims, in the aftermath of violent death. I get emails and cards from people who have had similar tragedies in their lives, thanking me for writing the book, for letting them know they are not alone. It’s nice to know that it is helping people in ways I never imagined. For that I am grateful.
- David Ward, winner, Best Unpublished Memoir, for Accidental Immigrants, a memoir about three young Englishmen who set off from Argentina in their Land Rover to drive the Pan American highway to the United States.
- Milt Burgess, finalist, Sci-fi, for Water Shock, in which water expert Charlie Reagan does battle with evil people, true believers, natural disasters, and failed water policy in the southwest U.S.
Other notables include:
- Margaret Harmon, Best Published Anthology, The Genie Who Had Wishes of His Own
- Layla Fiske, Best Published Historical Fiction and Geisel Award, The Fig Orchard
- Janice Steinberg, Best Published General Fiction (tie), The Tin Horse
- Zoe Ghahremani, Best Published General Fiction (tie), The Moon Daughter
- Mike Sirota, Best Published Action/Thriller,Freedom’s Hand
- Matt Coyle, Best Published Mystery Sisters In Crime Award, Yesterday’s Echo
- Terry Ambrose, finalist, Published Action, Suspense & Thriller, License to Lie
- Martin Roy Hill, finalist, Published Mystery, Empty Places
- Karen Kenyon, finalist, Published Poetry-Anthology, Selected Poems of the Gypsy Poets (I attended Karen’s writing class some 25 years ago.)
Finally, congratulations to Chet Cunningham, for being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, which he truly deserves. Chet, who has more than 400 books to his credit (he’s shooting for 500), is one of the founders of the SDBAA, as well as the San Diego Writers & Editors Guild, and has served as a mentor to many of the region’s aspiring writers, including me.
PS: For those you who are thinking, “Didn’t you win this award once before?”: Sort of. Two years ago the manuscript won in the Unpublished Memoir category.
- Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss (website)
- Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss (Amazon)
- Dare I Call It Murder? Facebook page
- Larry’s Facebook page