Monday, May 18, 2009

2009 Indie Book Award Release


Richmond Author Named as Romance Category Winner of 2009 Indie Book Award.

Richmond, VA, May 18, 2009: Richmond author Carmen Shirkey set out to write and a novel because she had a story to tell. Her story has resonated with readers of her book, THE LIST, as it was just announced as the winner of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (the "Indie Book Awards") in the Romance category.

The Indie Book Awards is a program for independent publishers and authors worldwide, and was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in 60 different categories, for the year, and is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group ( in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen O'Shea Literary Agency.

“It is such an honor to be recognized by my peers,” Shirkey said. “I am among great talent, and just hope the regular, everyday readers feel the same way about the book.”

The awards are open to all indie publishers, including independent publishers (small, medium or otherwise), university presses, self-published authors, e-book authors, seasoned authors and even first time authors based in the U.S., Canada or internationally who have a book written in English and released in 2009.

All books are judged for their content. The judges include expert editors, writers and publishers in the book publishing industry. Judges info can be found at:

As recognition of Shirkey’s win, she is awarded a certificate and a gold medal. Additionally, the book will be listed in the awards catalog, distributed at the upcoming Book Expo America in New York, and also sent to New York Literary Agent Marilyn Allen of Allen O'Shea Literary Agency.

More information on the book awards can be found at:

THE LIST is about Candace Saunders, a 30-something woman with a 50-something list of qualifications she wants in her future husband. She meets two men. One earns check after check on her love itinerary. The other is her anti-list. As she chooses (which one?) she wonders, can perfect be put on paper?

THE LIST is available for sale on Amazon ( and has received great reviews from sites like Coffee Time Romance (4 cups) and Review Romance (4 stars.)

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Carmen Shirkey,

About the Author: Carmen Shirkey was born in Staunton, VA. She received her degree in Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Virginia (she’s a crazy Wahoos fan) where she was also a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority. She then proceeded to become a gypsy – moving from city to city. Currently, she resides in Richmond VA, but who knows where she’ll turn up next. Her cat, Pooh Bear, would prefer to stay in one place so he can adequately mark his territory.

Aside from writing, Carmen’s passion is for travel. She once got a fortune cookie that told her that she would “step on the soil of many countries,” and she took it seriously. She hopes that enough people will buy her book so she can go on permanent vacation, instead of packing all her travel into two measly weeks each year. That’s the amount of vacation time she gets in her full-time gig as a Web editor.

Carmen Shirkey Featured
Richmond, Virginia Author Named as Romance Categor...
May, 2009 @

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Interview with Carmen Shirkey on

Read the full article

Once again I’m thrilled to have the rare treat of featuring a brand new author. My new author find is recently published romance author, Carmen Shirkey, whose first novel, The List, a romantic comedy, debuted in January of 2009. The List recently won the Romance category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. You can buy it on Amazon at Here’s the teaser:

Candace Saunders is a 30-something woman with a list of 50-something qualities that she wants in her future husband. She meets two men – one earns check after check on her love itinerary, the other is her anti-list. As she falls for (which one?), she begins to wonder, can perfect be put on paper?

Q: Congratulations on publishing your first novel! That’s an exciting event. Talk about the First Sale experience. How long had you been writing and how many novels had you written before getting published? What other genres have you written and what would you consider writing in the future besides romantic comedy? What else do you have coming up for publication?

A: I think I was writing in the womb! Writing has always been something that I enjoy and also happened to be good at. (Let’s just say thank goodness for the verbal section of the SAT, or my UVA dreams would’ve been dashed.) Before THE LIST, I started to write many a novel, but was never inspired enough by the stories to finish any. So THE LIST is the first novel I finished, thanks to National Novel Writing Month ant the Web site. I needed the challenge that they provided – to write a novel in one month – to kick me into action. Yes, I wrote the book in one month – but don’t worry, I spent the next year editing it!
I’ve just started writing my next novel. I don’t think I’ll write it in a month, but it’s another great story, and I hope I finish it this year. It’s very different from the romantic comedy angle of THE LIST. It’s darker, more fantasy/paranormal, but still a romantic and humorous telling of the story. If someone would one day call it a mix of Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Dresden Files meets a cute bunny, they’d probably be pretty accurate.

Book-A-Week Challenge Interview with Denise Robbins

Denise Robbins, author of IT HAPPENS IN THREES interviewed Carmen Shirkey for her Book-A-Week Challenge. Read the full review


Book-A-Week Challenge Interview is with Carmen Shirkey, author of "The List"

First, let me congratulate Carmen on being named the winner in the Romance category of the 2009 Indie Book Awards for "The List"! Woot!

And thank you for participating in our Book-A-Week Challenge and participating in the interview.

Post your comments and questions to Carmen and On with the Interview:

What motivated you to write this book? Your first book.

I’ve enjoyed the written word most of my life. Thank goodness for the verbal section on the SAT, or my University of Virginia dream would’ve been shattered. J So I always have ideas – for songs, for books, ect. I actually asked a screenwriter friend of mine if she’d be interested in THE LIST for a movie script. She told me that it was too happy for her (she likes to kill characters) so that I should write it myself. So I did – with the motivation of National Novel Writing Month ( in November. I wrote it in one month, and spent the next three years editing.