Saturday, September 27, 2008

Where Souls Collide wins Science Fiction category at the Literary Awards Show!

I am really excited to announce that Where Souls Collide won at the African American Literary Awards Show held Sept. 25 at the Harlem Gatehouse in New York. I can not tell you how exciting this is for me and how grateful I am to everyone who cast their vote for my debut novel.

Being incredibly motivated to complete revisions on my current WIP and move on to the next, I'm going to cut this blog short and share details of the moment through the press release I distributed yesterday. (Now whether anyone picks it up is a whole 'nother animal, but it does add nicely to the media kit. :)

Live. Love. Dream. Believe!

SOUTHFIELD, MICH. (September 26, 2008) -- A Detroit-based story about a newspaper’s struggle to survive a changing marketplace has taken a top honor at the 2008 African American Literary Awards Show.

Where Souls Collide by local author Stefanie Worth won the AALAS Science Fiction category. Last year’s winner, L.A. Banks (author of the popular Vampire Huntress series) was again in contention for the award along with well-known national bestsellers Tananarive Due and Brandon Massey. Worth is ecstatic that her debut novel held its own in the field.

“First of all, I was very excited to learn that my book had been nominated for the award. When I saw my competition, I was both humbled and inspired,” said Worth. “I can’t say thank you enough to all my friends, family and fans who voted for Where Souls Collide. They made this happen.”

AALAS nominees were chosen by an advisory panel of authors, publishers and literary industry experts. Winners were chosen by a public online voting process that ran throughout the summer. They were announced during the annual awards dinner held at New York’s Harlem Gatehouse last night.

“I hope this award allows me to share this character’s struggle to overcome with a bigger audience,” Worth continued. “The topic of financial difficulty is especially timely right now. Combined with the story’s romantic theme, there are enough twists to keep readers guessing – and hoping – until the very end of the book.”

Worth, who won national recognition for her editorial work at the Michigan Chronicle, chose the setting for Where Souls Collide based on her fond memories of that job.

“It’s a reality-based story woven with a supernatural premise, so my novel landed in the Science Fiction category.” Worth said. “I consider the book a sort of ‘ode to second chances’ because both the heroine’s professional and personal lives are going through major transitions.”

In addition to her days as a newspaper reporter, Worth also spent time in broadcasting at National Public Radio and ABC affiliates in Missouri. She worked as a reporter and anchor for WJLB radio in Detroit before moving on to the Chronicle and, eventually, her current role as director of communications for an area nonprofit. Meanwhile, she keeps plugging away toward a full-time career as a novelist.

Where Souls Collide, published through Dorchester Publishing, is available at major book sellers in-store and online. Her next work, a short story titled "Can You Believe," appears in The Holiday Inn anthology just released by Dorchester. For more information about the author or her writing, please visit

For more information about the African American Literary Awards Show or to view the full listing of 2008 winners, visit


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Results of distraction

Here are photos of the crochet project I mentioned in Relax, Release, Relate. There were actually two baby blankets; this is just a near full-size and detail shot of one.

I spent about one week making each blanket (about 3+ hours per day). That doesn't count the time I spent hunting for just the right yarn, going to different stores to purchase the necessary quantities and buying a whole new set of crochet hooks (long story there.) I used three different brands of yarn, all with a mohair look/feel.

The pattern rates its skill level as intermediate and I'd agree with that. It called for a size G hook, I chose to go with the yarn's gauge, which was a K. So I had to do a few practice runs on the first three rows to get the pattern to fall out correctly. I found it (free!) online at (the fleur-de-lis baby afghan).

I wanted to give the blanket a more finished look, so I added the Hugs and Kisses Edge that I found (free!) online at

I made "home from the hospital" blankets for each of my three children. I sized these two blankets by the ones I have on hand. Over the years, they've grown with my children -- from swaddling to car seat cover-ups to nap times and now they serve as leg coverings on movie nights. Of course, my daughter has asked for a mini-version for her favorite doll.

I know she'll understand that I need to hit my next writing deadline first, but I promise to whip up another loopy-laced masterpiece before winter sets in.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Barack Obama in Detroit

Just wanted to share a few photos from our trek downtown to hear Barack Obama speak on Labor Day. It was my second time, my kids' first. (Unfortunately, my oldest is off at college and missed out on all the live excitement.)

It was so hot that day, but the temperature cooled in comparison to the fiery spirit of the incredibly diverse crowd that gathered to witness history in the making.

If you've been in one of these crowds, you know just what I mean.

Still, despite the fervor, my six-year-old managed to find a shady spot at my feet, curled herself into a ball and fell asleep on top of my shoes. One day, when she's old enough to be ashamed of the memory, we'll remind her of how she slept through the whole thing. Meanwhile, we'll share our pictures with her.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Restless over my soap's latest story lines

Is it just me, or is my near lifelong favorite soap creating characters I can't stand by the boat load lately? Young and the Restless, which I've watched since I was 12, is my one and only daytime drama. It's an addiction I proudly admit to and try my best to stoke daily.

But for the last several months, the plot has been saddled with characters who do little more than get on my nerves. Let's see, there was Sabrina. (Sorry, but the whole 'My dad married my best friend' thing was creepy. Gross creepy.) So, good bye and good riddance to her.

Then there's the Chloe nonsense with the baby trickery. That takes me back to those Sheila and Lauren days. Nobody did it better than Sheila and I don't need Chloe's whiny attempt to recreate that situation. Cane is just dumb for marrying her. Totally unable to suspend my disbelief with that scenerio.

David Chow. Enough said. Won't see ya later. Bu-bye. Double yea!

And Cake Topper Numero Uno: That dedgum Adam. Yeck! First off, we all knew Victor wasn't dead. None of us are that silly. So, he'll come back, see the mess Adam has created and make nice with Victoria, Nicky and Nicholas again. Meanwhile, all I can hope is that Brad gives that fake Victor Jr. his comeuppance.

May I also suggest, while I'm ranting, another African American male lead (or two or three) so that Lily can have some choice in companions. Please understand, I have nothing against the interracial story lines. But Cane was such a stretch for our very naive Lily. (Uh, and an eligible bachelor like him could use some better choices, too. I would like to have seen him with Heather, personally.) A nice positive young brother who does right by Miss Lily would be refreshing. But also, perhaps, un-soap opera like.

Isn't this what soap operas are supposed to do, you say? Hook us on the absolutely unbelievable? It is, I guess. And that's what I try to do as a writer when I toss in those supernatural twists I love so well. But one thing I've learned about crafting heroes and heroines is that they should have some redeemable characteristic. Your leads can't be completely unlikable or most readers will toss them aside. Human, yes. Hannibalistic, no. At least not in my current genre.

That said, I'm ready for the next round of Y&R happenings -- minus Chloe and Adam. Sad fact is, I'll bet the writers and ratings-watchers know I'll be tuning in every day any way. *sigh*

OK. Back to my own word counts and the much more important mind-occupying events of the day -- like sending up prayers for those in Gustav's path. I realize I am quite blessed to be so mindlessly preoccupied, even for a little while.