See What Flowers Wins IPPY 2018 Medal

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My cousin, Laura Keohane, me (Shannon Mullen), and Jim Barnes, Managing Editor & Awards Director, Independent Publisher/Jenkins Group

This past week, I traveled to New York City to receive a 2018 Independent Publisher Book Award for my début novel, See What Flowers.

As I have written before, simply writing the book was enough of a success for me. I am proud of myself for taking the risk to pursue my dreams, even if I never “make it” as a writer. The process of writing makes me happy and that is reason itself to make it a priority in my life.

BUT….how awesome to have my work recognized and celebrated at the 2018 IPPY Awards at the legendary Copacabana night club in Times Square–the same venue where the Supremes recorded their Live at Copa album in 1965.

See What Flowers, a contemporary fiction about love & mental illness, won a bronze medal in the Canada-West Regional Awards Category.

The “IPPY” Awards were launched in 1996 to honour the year’s best independently published books. This year’s contest drew 4,500 entries, and medals were awarded to authors and publishers from 43 U.S. states, 6 Canadian provinces, and 12 countries overseas. I am truly honoured that See What Flowers was among one of the medallists!

In addition to attending the ceremony, I was lucky to have been able to play tourist/local with my cousin Laura Keohane who lives and works in New York. So, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to experience the IPPY’s and NYC with an awesome cousin & friend!

Click here for the full press release about the 2018 IPPY Awards.

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Indie Book Awards

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IPPY 2018 black & white

IPPY Awards

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See What Flowers Copacabana

Follow me on Goodreads to join the discussion about See What Flowers and to get sneak peaks of my next writing projects!

 

Goodreads eBook Giveaway for US Residents

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“There’s a real-life, contemporary feel to the story that I truly appreciate. This is so rare… A really well done story.”

-Judge, 5th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards

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Ottawa Book Launch at Terrace on the Canal

Attention US Residents! Through Goodreads’ Giveaway program, I’m offering 100 FREE ebook copies of my début novel, See What Flowers, a contemporary fiction about love and mental illness.

While I have offered signed copies to readers all over the world, Goodreads’ new ebook giveaway program is exclusive to US residents at this time.

The offer ends April 1, 2018. To enter the contest, click here.

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Book Signing at Chapters Indigo!

Have you read See What Flowers?

You can help me connect with a larger audience by writing a review & giving it a star-rating on Goodreads.

 

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Reading from See What Flowers at the Toronto Book Launch

New York, New York

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Chilly strolls through Central Park

I wasn’t in Times Square when the ball dropped, but arrived a few days later to kick off 2017 in what’s arguably the world’s greatest city.

Other than a quick jaunt into the city during a 12 hour layover to Toronto from Ecuador, this was my first time in NYC. All I can say after my short visit: 4 days, 3 nights, is that I want to go back. Many, many times.

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Times Square
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Grand Central Station (photo taken in August, 2016)

From 2009-2010, I lived in London, UK, another one of the world’s great cities. Even though I lived and worked there, met some lifelong friends, connected with locals, and even played on a rugby team, I still don’t feel like I really KNOW London. I’ll never be able to go to all of the pubs, cute little cafés, bookstores, or visit all of the unique neighbourhoods. No matter how many times I go back, I’ll never really know London. New York felt the same: every trip will be filled with new discoveries, new adventures, new possibilities, new mistakes, new lessons.

Maybe this is what makes a city great: a combination of sameness and newness, predictability and adventure, traditional and modern, stale and fresh. It’s nodding to the past while looking to the future.

There’s the awe and nostalgia of walking in the theatre district and imagining all of the stars who performed there. Or spending nights in gritty comedy clubs, wondering which celebrities once got their big break in the same run-down bars, likely hovering over the toilet seat because it was too disgusting to sit on, just like you did. There’s the fascination of staring at fancy cars with tinted windows, imagining that they might be escorting A-Listers, or picturing the cute barista who served your Grande Bold at Starbucks as the new McHottie in the next season of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s where dreams are made but also interrupted.

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Chelsea Market

 

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West End Graffiti

 

While in New York, I was reminded that everyone starts somewhere, and that what we are doing right now doesn’t make us who we are. It was also a refreshing lesson that life is full of surprises, from stumbling upon inspiring street art on the High Line, to discovering the most delicious pizza I’ve ever tasted in Midtown, to practising my Spanish at 2am in Greenwich Village, to reconnecting with friends in Hells Kitchen.

New York helped me realize that greatness doesn’t come without struggle, and that the struggle always takes us somewhere, even if it wasn’t where we thought we’d be going. So I guess there’s no other option than to accept the struggle, to stick with it, and not to beat myself up if I ate too much pizza or drank too much beer along the way, as tomorrow will always be a new adventure and New York will always be there.

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My 1.5 sec of fame on the Jan. 4th episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (second row on right, second from right)