Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

One Door Closes, Another Opens

Yesterday was a crazy day. It began with the news that Unwanted Heroes didn’t make the cut for the last fifty in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. Good luck to those who survived. I will file my acceptance speech away for another year.

At the end of the day, I wrote the final words of the to Unwanted Heroes’ sequel. I began this book in February, spending about an hour a day writing and a few days of intensive typing. Almost three months and 91,500 words later, I pushed ‘save’ after typing those magical words: THE END.

Obviously, this is still a rough draft which is desperately awaiting the eager eyes of the Berkeley Writer’s Group, as well as a list of  ‘Things to Follow Up On’. But it is an exciting moment when you finish a first draft. It seems as though the story is real.

I’m trying to come up with a creation analogy. Conception happens at the beginning of Chapter One. Holding the real book in your hands is perhaps the actual birth. So I guess, seeing the fetus on the ultrasound and hearing a heartbeat, might serve here.

Best of all, I already have an idea for the next book. But I’m going to hold off in the meantime, in order to edit the two completed manuscripts that I have, and to restore some sanity in my relationship with my wife and children.

I’m sad about ABNA. I thought this might be my year, but I finished the day with a smile on my face, and another story to tell when I am one day a member of the A-list.


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

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6 thoughts on “One Door Closes, Another Opens

  1. Alon,

    Congrats for making it so far into the finals of Amazon’s competition. AL

  2. Alon,

    Sorry about the ABNA but when push comes to shove you did well. You got one step closer to the prize, didn’t you?

    I am excited to hear you finished your sequel. I’ll look for it to be in a bookstore near me soon.


  3. Thank you, Al. I appreciate it.

  4. Alon,

    I’m glad you liked the blog. There is a link to my new novel, ‘Hangtown Creek’ at the bottom that goes to my website.

    My blog is http://mygoldrushtales.com/ and the website is http://goldrushtales.com/.

    So what’s the title of the new book, Unwanted Heroes, the second cup?


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