Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm Seeing Stars!


My debut novel, My Beginning, won the young adult title of the 2011 Hollywood Halloween Book Festival! I just got back from the awards ceremony which took place in Hollywood, California on Friday, October 21st - just two weeks after our Swagger family reunion!

With award winning novel and certificate!

The journey started with a couple of days of exploring the nostalgic west Hollywood, including taking a trek up to Griffith Observatory, mingling with crowds in front of the Kodak theater, stepping on stars on Hollywood Boulevard, and enjoying some exotic beverages and meals.

Someday, this star will be mine!

Friday afternoon I readied for an evening at the famous Roosevelt Hotel where the awards ceremony took place.The Roosevelt Hotel towers above Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood amongst many other historical landmarks. When you walk in, you are immediately whisked back to another era. That old tinsel town vibe is everywhere.

In lobby of Roosevelt Hotel

The Halloween Book Awards ceremony was on the 2nd floor in the Academy Room where I was warmly welcomed by Bruce, the event coordinator and founder of the Halloween Book Festival. I was treated to delicious hors d' oeuvres and cocktails as I mingled with other authors and participants.

When the ceremony began, Bruce talked a little bit about the Halloween Book Festival and how it all got started. Here is a little blurb from the evening:

"Tonight's awards ceremony marks the culmination of years of hard work by our authors and publishers...We are very proud to honor the winners, runner-ups and honorable mentions of one of our top book publishing festivals...less than five percent of our festival entries are ever honored with recognition by our staff...Tonight's winners truly represent the best of what current book publishing has to offer."
There were ten winners in total along with several honorable mentions and runner-ups. My Beginning was the Young Adult title winner - and this was its first contest! Whilst Bruce was introducing me, he said that My Beginning is Motion Picture Worthy! What a compliment!

Giving a speech at the podium.

I told a little bit about my book, then thanked my family and publisher Janice Phelps Williams for being so supportive and encouraging. After all of the speeches and awards had been given, we had a press shoot and interview with a couple of reporters. I felt like a true celebrity!!! I made some great new friends and had a wonderful time getting to know some of the other authors.

Getting paparazzi'd!

I'm truly honored to receive this award. It is all so surreal and hasn't completely sunken in yet. I can't believe I spoke at a podium... On a microphone... In front of a ton of people... In Hollywood... At a famous hotel... AWESOME!!!

All in all, it was a very successful trip - a dream come true! I'm so proud to be a Halloween Book Award winner.

Thank you Swagger family for always believing in me. I love you guys! :)


  1. Congrats, Melissa! Sounds like an incredible trip and experience!

  2. Wow--it's like a dream come true. Congrats and thanks for sharing your moment with us! :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  3. Yay Melissa,
    Congrats and well done, sounds and looks like you had a blast. Sorry we couldn't meet up, Hollywood is a looong way from Arrowhead.
    Keep on Keeping on girl...

  4. So proud of you! Looks like you had an amazing time.

  5. Thank you my dear swagger friends! XOXO

  6. Congrats! I've just ordered the book on kindle and look forward to reading it.

  7. How exciting! Congrats! So awesome :)

  8. Now that is some cool fun! Congrats on the award sounds like your book rocks:) I think I will have to be stopping by the book store soon.