The shortlist for the Kindle Storyteller UK 2018 £20,000 prize includes a Regency romance, a crime thriller, a memoir of a musician who has played in orchestras and as a drummer in rock bands, an inspirational novel about the afterlife, and an urban fantasy set in Manchester.
The five books on the shortlist are:
- Lord Livesey’s Bluestocking by Audrey Harrison
- Hit and Done by Andy Maslen
- Just Another Drummer by Martin G Willis
- The Afterlife of Walter Augustus by Hannah Lynn
- Box of Frogs by Helen Harper
It looks like there were over 6,000 entries for the contest this year. This is the second time that Amazon has run the award but this year entries had to be published in both ebook and print format.
The shortlist this year bears a striking similarity to last year’s in terms of variety as in 2017 there was a crime thriller, an historical novel, a non-fiction account of surfing around the UK, two science fiction/fantasy novels, and a lesbian romance. It’s interesting as it means Amazon must be looking for a mix on the shortlist.
The authors on the 2018 shortlist, who are all self-published, include Audrey Harrison with Lord Livesey’s Bluestocking. She is a prolific author of Regency romances and believes she was born about 200 years too late and is obsessed with history, books and research.
Andy Maslen is another writer with a substantial backlist and Hit and Done is the third in his DI Stella Cole thriller series. He has also written seven Gabriel Wolfe thrillers and some non-fiction books about copywriting.
Just Another Drummer seems to be Martin G Willis’s first book and it looks to be a fascinating one. He has been an orchestral musician for over 30 years and also an occasional drummer in rock bands. The reviews are glowing about the insights into life in an orchestra and the general humour of the book.
Hannah Lynn, author of The Afterlife of Walter Augustus, spent 10 years as a physics teacher and her first novel, Amendments, mixed in time travel and romance. The shortlisted book is her second novel and she has her third planned for publication in October — Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin, which is the first book in The Peas and Carrots series.
Helen Harper, who wrote Box of Frogs, is a versatile and very prolific author who has published well over 30 books covering vampires (including the Blood Destiny series) and a wide variety of magical fantasy. Box of Frogs is the first book in The Fractured Faery series and was published in July this year and she has actually published two further books in the series since then.
A panel of judges, including TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, will read the final shortlist and choose the winning book based on quality, including factors such as originality and creativity of book content and quality of writing and writing style. The winner will be announced at the prize ceremony in October in London.