Sunday, November 19, 2017

Winner: Great Midwest Book Festival

Late last night I was scanning my email and was delighted to see that Looking Glass Friends placed in the 2017 Great Midwest Book Festival. So I went to sleep smiling. This is the book's seventh award. I feel a quiet sense of pride.

Looking Glass Friends Awards:

2017 New York Book Festival Winner
2017 Los Angeles Book Festival Winner
2017 Pacific Book Awards Finalist
2017 BookVana Awards Finalist
2017 Readers' Favorite Award Finalist
2017 Southern California Book Festival Honorable Mention
2017 Great Midwest Book Festival Honorable Mention

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Winner: Southern California Book Festival

So proud to share that Looking Glass Friends was honored in the Southern California Book Festival. The novel received an Honorable Mention in the General Fiction category. It warms my heart...

2017 New York Book Festival Winner
2017 Los Angeles Book Festival Winner
2017 Pacific Book Awards Finalist
2017 BookVana Awards Finalist
2017 Readers' Favorite Award Finalist
2017 Southern California Book Festival Honorable Mention…/…/1540864456

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Look Behind the Scenes

This is what my "thinking wall" looked like when I first considered writing Looking Glass Friends. The story began with real love letters. I hung them in chronological order. To my surprise, I discovered a pattern, like a dance.

He wooed her (even if he didn't know it.) Every time he went too far, she drew back. Then he became cool. So she drew near, afraid to lose him. There was a crisis, a climax, a denouement. Our lives can mimic great dramas in pursuit of our dreams...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

My New Cover

After "Looking Glass Friends" won its' 5th award, I created a poster of the cover, to hang in the room where I write. Suddenly, I could see the cover big as big (to quote A. A. Milne). Hmmm...I wondered. And decided to change things a little. 

Now, here's a glimpse at the creative process that went into making the cover. This is the photo I began with: I found this beautiful photo on Shutter Stock and paid for the right to use it.  

Originally I titled the novel, Soul Mates. For publication, I reverted to an idea I had during writing, which I had shelved and then forgotten.

One Saturday, I had the idea to cover the faces with a visual clue to the emails and printed letters the lovers exchange. I photographed a page from an old Victor Hugo novel...and after a lot of work on Affinity Photo:

The new cover (at the top) is by far my favorite for its subtlety. I hope you like it too. 

~ 2017 New York Book Festival WINNER ~
~ 2017 Los Angeles Book Festival WINNER ~
~ 2017 Pacific Book Awards Finalist ~
~ 2017 BookVana Award Finalist ~
~ 2017 Readers’ Favorite Finalist ~
They fell in love over email, discussing Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged. Neither remembered the other’s face clearly. Both were married already. And she had a five-year-old son. But in the span of a few letters each discovered his soul’s mirror-image. So how could they live apart?
Woven with poetry and philosophy this is a story about the nature of love, its enchantment or curse, and the heartbreaking question: Can a mother secure her child’s happiness by sacrificing hers?

Saturday, September 2, 2017

My Thoughts on Placing in a 5th Award Competition

Even the title of this post sounds pompous in my ears. My dogs are no longer startled out of their furry little coats when Mommy suddenly breaks into a dance. A minute before she was staring at that silvery sidelong book she calls her MacBook. Now she's picking up each dog in turn and waltzing. Humans!

I am honored to learn that Looking Glass Friends is a General Romance Finalist in the 2017 Readers' Favorite Awards. I know the competition was fierce, so this means a lot to me.

When I started writing ages and ages ago, I thought I was good. I thought I had a talent for literature. And it was true. I was better at literature and writing than anything else. And I loved it with a passion. But I've finally reached a stage when I realize how much I can suck at this illusive craft. Most of my writings have a close relationship with the delete button. It's ironic, but I didn't start winning awards until I realized how terrible my writing can be. And how hard I have to work to make it good.

Since I self-published Looking Glass Friends, I was my own editor (and copy editor). I reviewed the novel (for the absolute final time) over 20 times. This polishing took around 4 months. I felt like a sculptor chipping away and polishing his finished work. Each stage revealed new flaws and so on.

So after all the hard work, I am thankful that the story is received so well. And I am especially grateful to readers who take a chance on my unknown story. I wish more of them would share their thoughts in a review. It's a joy to me to read. And as a reader, I know how helpful a good review can be in guiding my literary choices. So...will you write a review and share it? I hope so!

Thanks for reading!

Tal Boldo (pen name: E.L. Neve)

Audio Book

Goodreads Reviews

Monday, August 14, 2017

4th Award for "Looking Glass Friends"

So proud to learn that "Looking Glass Friends" is an Award Finalist in the “Fiction: Chick Lit/Women's Lit” category of the 2017 Bookvana Awards. I hugged my little Pomeranian and we danced a jig in celebration. Here's one of the old that never went live. In the end, I designed a new cover, with layers of meaning that relate to the story.

BTW, my pen name for this novel (E. L. Neve) is an anagram. Can any one guess the riddle behind it? Clue: The dedication in the book reads: "For the first one in the anagram."

Thursday, June 29, 2017

2017 New York Book Festival Winner

So thrilled to learn that Looking Glass Friends has won another award. It's so nice when a surprise like this just lands in your inbox. The novel is the winning romance in the New York Book Festival.