Welcome to the RPLA Showcase
Each year at the Royal Palm Literary Award Banquet, authors experience the joy of earning accolades for all the hard work that is often done in the privacy of the home with little to no recognition. Our goal is to showcase the best of the best at the 2015 Royal Palm Literary Awards and provide First Place winners with a well-deserved spotlight. Not only are we recognizing extraordinary talent, but we’re giving readers an opportunity to sample excerpts from the winning stories.
Most First Place Awards Received: Jade Kerrion
Not only did Jade Kerrion win First Place in the Published Science Fiction category, but she brought home two other First Place awards in Published and Unpublished Flash Fiction, meaning she was the author who earned the most First Place awards in multiple categories.
2015 Published Science Fiction
Carnival Tricks by Jade Kerrion
Jade Kerrion won First Place in the Published Science Fiction category. In Carnival Tricks, a mercenary who hates mutants falls in love with a secret telekinetic who needs his help to stay alive.
Click the link to read a sample:
2015 Published Flash Fiction
Insecurity Complex by Jade Kerrion
Jade Kerrion won First Place in the Published Flash Fiction category. In “Insecurity Complex,” a ghost makes a last-ditch attempt to be noticed by a disbelieving house owner.
2015 Unpublished Flash Fiction
Always a Part of You by Jade Kerrion
Jade Kerrion won First Place in the Unpublished Flash Fiction category. “Always a Part of You” is a “Dear Mommy” letter from a five-day-old baby.
Q & A with Jade Kerrion
Q: Where do you get your story ideas?
A: Many of the themes in my stories — friendship, courage, betrayal, love — are universal. The science in my futuristic thriller series, the Double Helix, isn’t just credible; in some cases, the science “fiction” is actually fact. Early ideas emerge from the combination of the theme and the setting, but the magic, I think, resides in the characters. They shape the story when they come to life. I’ve had stories not end the way I expected, and it’s almost always the better for it.
Q: Anything in particular about your award-winning RPLA entry that you’d like to share?
A: How do you save the world when you can scarcely save yourself? Carnival Tricks, a standalone novel in the world of the Double Helix, doesn’t feature a superhero with amazing powers. In fact, Sofia Rios’s telekinetic powers are so minute as to be scarcely capable of more than carnival tricks, but her conviction to do the right thing lands her in trouble, pursued by three ruthless organizations determined to seize the research she’s carrying.Carnival Tricks isn’t about astounding powers and great feats; it’s about doing remarkable things — world-changing things — with the little power available to us.
Q: Who do you credit with inspiring your writing?
A: My husband, first and foremost. I’d amassed a large following with my Guild Wars fan fiction, but he encouraged me to take my writing to the next level. In 2012, I released Perfection Unleashed, the first book in the Double Helix series, and by the end of 2016, will have published 12 science fiction and fantasy novels and 12 contemporary romances. I couldn’t have done any of it without his moral support, his insightful critiques (he read Perfection Unleashed five times), and the hours he spent watching over the kids so I would have time to write. On the literary front, Neil Gaiman is my hero. He seamlessly blends a fantastical supernatural world on top of the commonplace. The story threads he weaves are so complex that it’s impossible to conceive how they all come together until the end when you turn the tapestry over and view the masterpiece.
Q: Any tips for new writers?
A: Don’t give up. It’s said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything, and even after that, experts keep learning and growing. My first novel came back from the editor so smothered in red ink it looked like someone had bled and died on the manuscript. But I kept learning and growing, and by the time my third novel came back from the editor with a few pristine pages that had every comma in the right place, I knew I was making progress. 24 novels and 13 literary awards later, I’m still learning, still practicing, and still trying to get better. Don’t give up. Don’t stop. It’s the only way you’ll get anywhere.