19th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

February 20, 2012

Last week was the perfect week to receive a nice Certificate and a long letter from Writer’s Digest to whom I sent my book for the Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award around 8 month ago.  Why I am saying it was the perfect week is because I volunteered at the San Francisco Writers Conference http://www.sfwriters.org/ over the weekend from Feb.16 to Feb 19 2012 which is the event to visit in the quest to be a (successful) author. This was the first time I have participated in such a conference and it was impressive from the first to the last minute. The amount of useful information and endless Network opportunities every participant took home is nothing short but overwhelming. It will take weeks to digest every detail learned in the panel discussions or classroom sessions, but I guess this is the name of the game to grow into a shining star within the endless galaxy of unique talent and aspiring authors. The whole weekend was a great experience and I will do it again next year if I get the opportunity. Of course the Hotel already was an experience in itself with its glamour and comfort – inside as well as outside.

Back to the Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Award. Needless to say I didn’t receive the first price but I got a review and that itself made me already happy.

Judge’s commentary:

To Drink the Wild Air is purely and simply, a good read. The author has led a full and rich life, one that in many respects is out of the common path. In this book, she writes of it with “the final goal of entertaining and enlightening the reader,” a goal that she achieves. Her story progresses from her childhood in Germany to the present and is interspersed at key points with brief chapters titled “ Alaskan Journal”, written years later, at a time when she was reflecting on the experiences she has just chronicled or is about to cover.  A strong quality of this book is that you don’t have to be someone who especially likes motorcycle racing or who shares her other enthusiasms to enjoy it and to develop a good degree of respect and admiration for the writer. It’s also a pleasure to read so generous an autobiography, one that is not in a hurry to get from point to point but that explores in depth the writer’s experiences. Ms. Soyka writes candidly and she is also a person who reflects deeply about her life. All these qualities make To Drink the Wild Air a book that can be recommended to anyone who enjoys losing themselves in a good story.