It’s the morning after the Wonderland Awards and I still can’t believe what happened. NIGHTMARES IN ECSTASY won the award for Best Collection. Thank you so much to all those who read the book and voted. I love you all! And congrats to the incomparable Gabino Iglesias who took home the award for Best Novel for COYOTE SONGS. Here’s my acceptance speech for those who didn’t attend the awards:
First, I would like to thank Rose and everyone else who helped organize this year’s Wonderland Awards. Second, thank you so much to all those voted. You’re the fucking best. Also, a huge shout out to my fellow nominees. Every one of you makes incredible art and it’s been an honour to be recognized alongside such inspirational people.
I can’t begin to express how much this award means to me. When I was fifteen years old, I was diagnosed with systemic Lupus. The disease affected my brain, and often impaired my ability to be creative. For years, writing seemed like an insurmountable task. But I persisted. Fighting through the fatigue, the pain, and the fog. Because writing was the only thing that kept me grounded. It was a safe space, a reservoir into which I could pour my fears and anxieties.
And that persistence was rewarded in more ways than one. Nightmares in Ecstasy was the culmination of several years of hard work. But, more importantly, it’s tangible proof that I haven’t let this disease control my life, or determine who I am. So, thank you to everyone who purchased the book, read and reviewed the stories, and helped spread the word. I can never thank you enough.
To my fellow writers, if I can leave you with a parting message, it’s this: don’t let anything get in the way between you and the stories you want to tell. The world needs stories more than ever, and you never know if that idea nestled in your brain will save someone’s life. Stories sure as hell saved mine.
Also, a huge thank you to CLASH Books and everyone else who took a chance on these stories. I wouldn’t be here without you.