So I found out I got nominated for 2012 African American Literary Award in the romance category for my book "A Love Built to Last." When I was scrolling the lists (after seeing another author's request on Twitter to vote for them) I was shocked and honored to see (OMG! OMG! OMG!) that I -- lil' ol' LaShell -- was on the list. And not only was I on the list, but so were romance heavyweights like Brenda Jackson, Francis Ray, Gwynne Forester, and Adrianne Byrd. So not only do I have a new contract with an awesome publisher but I got nominated for a highly respected award for African American authors! I don't care that I probably won't win. 2012 is turning out to be a great year!
Another thing that crossed my mind seeing my book title and name on the list: I'm so proud of the lead characters of the novel -- Melody Cannon and Clayton Reed. I think any author will tell you that when you write a story, you become so engrossed with the story that the characters start to take on a life of their own. I know the overall plot, but the characters tell me what they would say in what instance and how they would interact. I'm glad that these characters were able to come to life enough that it helped the novel and made it worthy of an award nomination. I enjoyed writing them. Glad they're getting their brief moment in the sun. :)
- L.S. Childers/Shelly Ellis