The 2016 Rainbow Awards is an annual contest celebrating outstanding work in LGBT fiction and nonfiction. Blogger Elisa Rolle runs the contest, and IMO, the best part of participating is that instead of a standard entry fee, applicants donate to a charity that supports the LGBTQIA community.
I chose St. James Infirmary, which provides healthcare and social services to sex workers in San Francisco. The organization was recently forced to move from their longterm space in the SoMa District as a result of depressingly widespread tech industry gentrification. And I’m pretty sure I came across the great work of founder Margo St. James back when I was a bitty little baby activist in the 90s.
So then the Songbird Thief received an Honorable Mention! From the review on the Rainbow Awards site:
1) Believable and relatable characters in a landscape that skillfully blends San Francisco with a wonderful fantasy world makes for a very entertaining story.
2) I am not really a fan of this type of story but I found this one to be. An enjoyable read. I really loved Lee and the book offered many twists and turns. I hadn’t read the other book in this series but I didn’t need to. This one could have been a stand alone.
I especially appreciate those reviews where the reader doesn’t like urban fantasy, or doesn’t read a lot of YA, or isn’t used to queer girls as protagonists (all things that are true of both my books). It shows the reviewer was still willing to take a chance on unfamiliar territory, and that’s a win for for new authors and for reading in general. Now that most fiction is marketed or digitally shelved according to such finely diced subcategories, a reader might never stumble across a book that isn’t a whole lot like all her other favorite books, not without a little courage and initiative.
And I’ve never gotten an award before. To the champagne!