Taking the Expat Exit (formerly A Perfect Day for an Expat Exit) was named finalist for the 2016 Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Award. (In 2014 it was short-list finalist and a finalist 2012.) Last year, the sequel Caught in a Mousetrap: Expats at Play (formerly The Girl in the Bathtub), was also a finalist (and a finalist for 2012 Novel-in-Progress category). Both are set in Penang, Malaysia.
This year, for some reason, Caught in a Mousetrap: Expats at Play was only a semi-finalist along with two other novels, The Summer of Sizzle (my latest, completed in May) and An Unexpected Gift from a Growling Fool, a short-list finalist in 2013. Another novel, The Resurrection of Jonathan Brady, was a short-list finalist in the 2014 Faulkner-Wisdom Novel contest (and Quarter-finalist in 2012 Amazon Breakthrough) and my novella The Act of Theft, a finalist in 2014 Novella category.
Judging can be rather subjective, though my two Malaysian-set novels seem to strike a chord with the judges. At least one of my novels has been a finalist or a short list finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Award every year since 2011. Not a bad track record. Shows I’m consistent as I persistently rewrite them as I write new novels. Hopefully this year, one can finally win.
While waiting for the 2016 results, it’s back to work on my sixth novel, having compiled notes on it for nearly two years. Sooner or later, one of my novels will break out. It’s only a matter of time. Having recently slogged my way through a third marathon, I know what it’s like to keep at it, advice I gleaned from Dory.
—Borneo Expat Writer