Not only is the writer only known to a select few, but his novel, Hot Air, is unknown, and the award body is new.
The novelist opened up his e-mails one day last week to find the usual crop of scam spam - the delicate body part enlargement pills, Viagra-alikes, and Russian women eager to marry him. His finger tapping the delete key as if he was Morse coding go-away a dozen times over, he nearly voided one saying: Geoff Nelder, congratulations, you are a Silver winner at the World and Universal Arts competition 14th category in Groningen, Netherlands.
Just a moment, he DID enter his unpublished thriller, Hot Air, to a couple of competitions. The story came about when he watched a hot air balloon float over him, and his warped authorial mind said: what if I wanted to shoot it down? Think about it - - hot air, not hydrogen. To gain authenticity for the geography, he visited Mallorca in the Mediterranean and was arrested twice. He didn't know he was trespassing, nor that the police there object to being photographed. Oh well. Shortly after having the novel proofread, he thought little more. It is a rollicking adventure but his mind had turned to writing science fiction. And then the e-mail…
The World Artistic Festival is being held this weekend and so in spite of caution nagging at him, he booked flights and accommodation. Hesitation because none of his friends had heard of the World Artistic Festival, or the name of the awarding body, The Stichting (foundation) World and Universal Academy. But then a trip to Holland, with Amsterdam thrown in is always a pleasure so caution thrown to all the winds, he is going. Oh, all right, that writer is me. I'm the Geoff Nelder, who has no real idea whether this is a real opportunity to launch Hot Air or whether it is a cunning plot to circumnavigate all those security devices I have alarm ringing in my head. Heck, a follow up message from the organiser say their university publishing house is going to publish Hot Air and are happy I'm going in person. So, they are new – that must be the reason they are unknown, just like me!
Their web address is http://www.wuacademia.org/
My daughter says she's coming too because she wants at least one person to be there applauding me! Hah. I told her I'd more likely be rummaging in a box searching for the envelope with my name on it, but you never know.
Hot Air was fun to research and write. I'd make a good movie. And now it's an award winner even before it's published. Excellent.
I'll report back on the ceremony…