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  • jcazzola0

All the Finalists ~ All the Categories!

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

Those of you who know my story know that I only started writing around Thanksgiving 2014 – less than two years ago now.

I had no idea what I was doing when started – no clue about how a story was structured, what made one good or bad, or any clue about the community of authors I was unwittingly joining. Once the first sentence came to me, I simple sat down and started writing. My mind could not, would not, focus on anything else. The story was the first thing on my mind in the morning and the last thing on my mind at night. If I thought of something, a sentence, a feeling I wanted to express, anything at all, during the day, I dictated it into my phone so I wouldn’t forget.

As the months went by and thoughts of actually publishing started to take form in my mind, I began educating myself. I found an editor who said the story didn’t suck – I should continue. I let a couple people I know read it and got some decent feedback. I wanted it to be the best story I was capable of writing. In October 2015, my finished product was released on Amazon.

Now I had a book, but I still had no idea what I was doing. Much to my surprise, I found there were writing groups in my area, so I joined Romance Writers of America and started going to the local meetings. Lots of people there talked about entering writing contests and all the great feedback you could get about your work that way. I figured I could use feedback, so I picked five at random and entered. The deadline for hearing from the first two came and went without a word about results (definitely no feedback), so I promptly forgot about the rest and chalked it up to experience.

When I got the call from the Georgia Romance Writers about being a Maggie Awards finalist, I had honestly forgotten I had even entered. I started doing some research and found it was one of the most prestigious contests out there. Holy shit! Love’s Illusions was my first writing attempt – how had this happened?

So now its been a little over a month – plenty of time for them to change their minds, say there was some kind of error, whatever. But not only is Love’s Illusions still on the list – it’s in this video with all the other finalists! It MUST be true!

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