Three books by a Vernon author scored a hat trick of awards recently in an international readers poll, and also delivered him an unexpected personal surprise.
A collection of short stories by James Osborne, Encounters With Life—Tales of Living, Loving & Laughter, was awarded Best Short Story in the open category.
Osborne’s best selling novel, The Ultimate Threat, placed second for Best Thriller Novel. Completing the hat trick was his most recent novel, The Maidstone Conspiracy, which tied for third for Best Mystery Novel.
Readers from around the world were invited to participate in the 18th annual poll organized by Preditors&Editors.org, an online non-profit group established in 1997 to help writers deal with unscrupulous people in the publishing and media production industry. It’s part of a group that offers skill development assistance without charge to those in writing, art, poetry, music, video, photography, social media and a host of other creative fields.
Voters in the poll also presented Osborne with a surprise. He was awarded third place in the Best Author category from among more than two-dozen finalists.
“I don’t know who nominated me in the Best Author category, but needless to say I’m very grateful,” said Osborne. “It’s humbling to be included among best selling authors as well as a group of aspiring writers who we’ll be hearing a lot more about in the years ahead.”
Voters were also invited to comment on the books nominated. One had this to say about Encounters with Life: “Wish I’d written this. You will enjoy it, too.”
The Ultimate Threat, Osborne’s debut novel, spent several weeks on Amazon’s best sellers list. The story anticipates what could happen if the terrorist group ISIS was to lead an insurgency in North America, and how it could be stopped. The book’s success led to it being listed on the websites of Chapters/Indigo in Canada and of the U.S. big box bookstore chains Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.
Osborne credits his varied working career for providing much source material for his books, including experience as an investigative journalist, teacher, army officer, corporate executive and business owner.