Science fiction and fantasy is a world of make believe but the reality is local author Neil Godbout is a finalist for the 2013 Aurora Awards in a new category for best young adult novel.
The Aurora Awards are decided by Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association members, who can begin voting online for their favourite authors to take top spot in several professional writing categories, starting today until Sept. 13.
Godbout, managing editor of The Citizen, has been nominated for his second book Dissolve,published by Bundoran Press.
The awards will be presented during Can-Con, the Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature, in Ottawa, from Oct. 4 to 6.
"I'm thrilled there's a new category and yes, I'm a finalist, but Kelley Armstrong is in my category and she's also a finalist. Kelley is Canada's Stephenie Meyer (creator of the Twilight series). She writes two books a year. She writes an adult book and a teen book and Harper Collins is her publisher. Harper Teen released the book she's up for and I have no prayer against that. I'm the new kid on the block so I'm not hoping for very much. I'm just happy to be mentioned."
Godbout was inspired to write the trilogy to provide his teenage daughter, Claire, with an entertaining read. He presented the first book, Disintegrate, to Claire on her 13th birthday. The second, Dissolve, was just in time for her sweet 16 and the last in the series, Resolve, was just completed in time for her 17th and will be out in August. Godbout said the direction he took in the books came from suggestions made by Claire who read the books, including their pre-published versions.
"Dissolve is the middle book and if you follow the traditional curve of a trilogy, it's the darkest, it's the bleakest, it's the Empire Strikes Back," said Godbout. "The universe is going to hell in a hand basket for our main characters and everything they do to make it right just seems to go horribly wrong. It has lots of change and has a lot of set up for the last book, Resolve."
Traditionally, when books to go the editor, they end up shorter and more concise. When Godbout's books go to editor Virginia O'Dine, it's the opposite. Because of his newspaper background, where he was trained to communicate succinctly, Godbout's books end up being longer because he has to add information to round out the story line.
"I'll be a little nervous going to the awards dinner but at the same time it'll just be fun," said Godbout. "I went last year. It was held in Calgary, and, of course, I wasn't nominated for anything but it's just fun to go. Everyone is very generous and supportive and so yes, it's an awards show and there's a winner, but it's just a good vibe."
Former Prince George resident Lynda Williams, is also a finalist in the best novel category for Healer's Sword: Part 7 of the Okal Rel Saga, published by Edge. Williams has moved to the Lower Mainland and now works at Simon Fraser University.
To vote visit www.prixaurorawards.ca/2013-aurora-award-ballot/