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.
2015 Published Romance
The Rivergrass Legacy by John Chaplick
John Chaplick won First Place in the Published Romance category. In The Rivergrass Legacy, a Colombian drug cartel’s use of a Florida tropical fish hatchery to launder dirty money forces a Boston aristocrat to join forces with rural Southern farmers to solve a mystery.
Click the link to read a sample:
Q & A with John Chaplick
Q: Where do you get your story ideas?
A: I usually create my own ideas based upon my experiences and other readings that inspire me. For example Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion was inspired by Dr. William Lane Craig’s article entitled God: A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist; my next book Bridge of the Paper Tiger came from my own experience as a forensics accountant; my RPLA winning novel The Rivergrass Legacy came from my visit to a tropical fish farm in South Florida…and also from my experience as a forensics accountant specializing in fraud and money laundering.
Q: Anything in particular about your award-winning RPLA entry that you’d like to share?
A: The Rivergrass Legacy was my first RPLA submission five years ago under the title In the Presence of Evil and it failed miserably. I then increased my activities at FWA, joined two critique groups, did a LOT of studying, and rewrote it as The Rivergrass Legacy. It’s success is, I think, a testimony to the importance of objective, third party critiques and doing enough homework before a writer attempts to go public with his/her final product.
Q: Who do you credit with inspiring your writing?
A: My writing was inspired by sheer panic. The day after I retired I found myself sitting alone (my wife was at work) at the breakfast table with absolutely nothing to do..no one needed my advice anymore, I had no pressing commitments, and no urgent reports to write. I panicked, swore that this was NEVER going to happen again, and I began my exploration of the publishing arena.
Q: Any tips for new writers?
A: The best tips I can offer for new writers are: a) join a writing group like FWA; b) read, read, read; c) NEVER submit anything until it’s been reviewed by at least ten objective and experienced writers.