I'm so honored I think I'm speechless. The best part of this award is that it's a reader's choice award. And readers are why I do what I do. The people who read my novels are who let me live my dream of being an author. You are what makes me put my fingers on the keys and type more stories. Readers motivate me, inspire me, and let me share my work with them.
I was amazed just to be nominated. Many may not know, but when A Reliant Love was released, a lot of bad reviews came in due to the ending. Spoilers may be coming, just be warned! Sometimes I don't know where my mind goes. ;)
People would email me that they needed a happy ever after. That my book wasn't good because it's wrong to treat readers that way and leave them feeling so terrible. I cannot even guess a number of the amount of uproar over the end of A Reliant Love. Then when I came out that I was releasing Finding Sam, those people spun around. They were now excited that there was a sequel. I then began to get emails (before it was even released) asking if it was a happy ever after or else they weren't going to support it. Yep! Imagine how fun that was.
I want to explain my style really quick. This probably isn't the right time for this, but oh well, I went there. If you've read any of my novels, you probably can figure me out, but I'll share anyway. I write very character-based works. What this means is that I really dive into the heads of my characters and write THEIR story. NOT MINE. I don't try to twist things to make a story more interesting. I write what's real. All of my stories, even the fantasy ones, are believable, the character's actions are concrete and you can envision it because it's not made up. I see these things in my head. Trust me, it's weird.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I will never force a happy ever after if the character doesn't deserve one. And I'm sure you may be thinking, "Well, you decide what a character deserves or not since I make these people up." But it's really not true. The people I make have a life of their own on my pages, and to cut them short of what they need would be a disservice, both to myself and my books and to you all.
This may have happened in For The Love of Ash, also. A lot of people said the middle lacked conflict and turmoil, that they wanted a big blow up between Luke and Maggie before they got a happy ever after, and it just didn't work that way for me. FTLOA was a very mellow story, because the characters themselves are more easy-going, they had a child to think of. It wasn't going to be a huge dramatic novel. I knew that. But readers wanted it.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm beyond happy that A Reliant Love won this reader's choice award, specifically for best death because it reassures me that I'm doing something right. That there are readers out there who may enjoy my style and love my characters. That I should continue to follow what I think is right instead of conforming to the way other authors write and what the market deems "right".
For some reason, this award means a ton to me. And it's not for some reason. It's because it's given to me by you all. You voted for me day after day and loved my characters, stories, books, and shared my work. Things like that really touch me because it shows that I'm impacting people. You all care. And, I don't know, I can't explain how wonderful it feels to be reaffirmed that you're doing something right. Finally, it's working and people are seeing my books and understanding my characters.
Better than any award is that. The amount of support I received during this couple week long voting period was astonishing. During the round of 20, I emailed and called all of my family and told them to vote really fast and every day because I doubted anyone would vote for me. When I posted about it on Facebook, I couldn't believe that you all were willing to take a few minutes out of your day and vote for me, not the author huge names in the category that I, too, love.
When it got to final 5, I really started to understand that you guys wanted me to succeed. I'd never experienced anything like it in the writing world before and I've been a published author for two years already! To know that readers, bloggers, real friends, book friends, and everyone else was standing behind me and helping me, warmed my heart on a very personal level.
So thank you for being there for me, helping me win this amazing award that I completely think A Reliant Love deserves (though, I swear, I'm not biased!), and constantly showing me how amazing the book community is. Plus, the award is pretty awesome and when I get it in the mail, I'll share a picture. Thanks to Bleeding Heart Blog for hosting the entire event and thinking up a great way to get readers and authors working together for a common goal. None of this would've happened without them, so I thank you BHB!
© Taylor Lavati 2017
What Readers Have to Say...
"An absolutely heart wrenching read that shows us that at times no matter how much we hope, darkness will find its way to win. "
-Blogger's From Down Under for A Reliant Love
"So this book is the ultimate love story. I like how two ordinary people who is so different and still so alike in so many ways can overcome everything together."
-Angelica Berglund for For The Love of Hockey
"I never thought I would read a "zombie book", much less love one. The Last Legacy really surprised me. Even with the whole people-eating-people thing, it was a fantastic book"
-Melannie S for The Last Legacy
"I could not wait to start book two. If this book was as good as book one, then I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. It wasn't as good as book one...it was better. "
-Keely Retchloff for Finding Sam
"The powers, the love, the excitement, the drama kept me so enthralled. If you are looking for a GREAT series about true love and mythology, look no further... I wish I could rate 10 stars! Definitely recommend this whole series to all my book loving friends!"
-The Book Blog for A Curse Books Trilogy
"For the Love of Ash" by Taylor Lavati was a rare 5-star read for me. I honestly find many typical romances rather dull and predictable. This was not the case at all here; there was nothing average about the romance, overall storyline, and the long list of supporting characters."
-Summer's Book Blog for For The Love of Ash
"Wingless isn't what I would normally pick up and read, but thought I'd try it out and I am so glad I did. The characters and "worlds" she creates are done so well that you can actually picture them and feel like you are there right along with the characters."
-JLH for Wingless
For The Love of Hockey | January 2016
The Price of Love | 2017