It’s First Monday again, when you can share your thoughts and ask me any questions to do with writing, editing or publishing your work. Today isn’t so much a question as sharing what I’ve discovered about writing in the last week.
Mostly I want readers to have the best possible experience through my books. Then there are the writers for whom I write this blog, and the entrants in the Valerie Parv Award run by Romance Writers of Australia.
Each year I mentor the winner of the award, and feel like a kid at Christmas when one of my minions (their own name for themselves as former VPA winners) lands a new publishing contract, wins a book award, or makes a bestseller list as they frequently do.
I see this as giving back to an amazing profession where I sometimes have to remind myself that this is work. So imagine my excitement when The Australian Society of Authors awarded me the ASA Medal 2014 in Melbourne last week.
Here’s what was said about the medal, and some of my response. As more and more people at the presentation, and many hundreds of online friends, offered congratulations, I was reminded again of why I write – for the joy of telling stories. That my stories and work with other writers should bring me such an extraordinary honour as the ASA Medal, I consider the icing on my writing cake.
“The ASA Board awards the ASA Medal bi-annually to honour members of Australia’s writing community who have contributed significantly to our literary culture. Your contribution has been judged outstanding across the board, from the quality of your writing to your hard work in support of other authors, the principles of authorship and this organization itself.”
“This is one award that has to be earned” – Angelo Loukakis
In accepting the medal, I said in part:
“As one whose first books were chiselled on cave walls, I am honoured to be given this award and would also like to congratulate my fellow honoree for 2014, Nadia Wheatley.
My first published book, Growing and Using Herbs (Ure Smith), caused little fanfare in my family, not being a blockbuster or even a novel.
It took joining the Australian Society of Authors to make me realise I’d done something that mattered, I’d written a book and had it published, the first of more than eighty novels and non-fiction titles. I’m proud to be that rare breed, a writer supporting myself through my writing since my twenties.
In the Australian Society of Authors, I had great mentors, not only in matters of craft but also in the importance of giving back to a profession that has been good to me.
As well as the ASA executive and membership, I’d like to thank my agent of twenty years, Linda Tate. She not only has my back, but my front and the top of my head as well, even if I’m still waiting for that body double I asked for.
Receiving such an important award decided by your peers has to be as good as it gets. Thank you so much.”
Now it’s over to you. Why do you write? What gives you the greatest pleasure in your work? Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you want your comment to appear without moderation, click on the “sign me up” button to subscribe. I don’t share your email details with anyone.
About the author:
Valerie Parv is one of Australia’s most successful writers with more than 29 million books sold in 26 languages. She is the only Australian author honored with a Pioneer of Romance Award from RT Book Reviews, New York. With a lifelong interest in space exploration, she counts meeting Neil Armstrong as a personal high point. She loves connecting with readers via her website valerieparv.com @ValerieParv on Twitter and on Facebook. She is represented by The Tate Gallery Pty Ltd firstname.lastname@example.org