At first glance, Living Now Book Awards has a formidable goal:
We’ve all heard the expressions, “This book changed my life!” and “Changing the world, one book at a time.” The Living Now Book Awards are designed to honor those kinds of life-changing books.
Yet the goal is relevant and even fundamental:
We all seek healthier, more fulfilling lives for ourselves and for the planet. . . . The purpose of the Living Now Book Awards is to celebrate the innovation and creativity of books that enhance the quality of life.
I submitted my novel Living Treasures to the Inspirational Fiction category. Can fiction be inspirational and remain honest? I want to believe so. I work as a computer engineer at UC Berkeley. When I help people on a daily basis, I know that a person can make a difference in the society.
As a writer I have a rather optimistic worldview. I like to tackle big social problems in my fiction, put my characters under the test, let them endure, and in their darkest and most despairing hours, let them use their ingenuity—much like an engineer—and find some sort of relief or solution, not a cure-all, but a way out, so that they can move forward to rebuild their lives.
Many social problems don’t have solutions. That doesn’t mean we need to remain stagnant. The perilous quest for a fulfilling life is in itself a profound spiritual journey. Accompanied by good books, we don’t travel alone on our personal journeys. “Good books are a weapon against ignorance,” Jim Barnes said.
I entered the contest with deep appreciation for which the award stands. I am grateful to have won the bronze medal along with many outstanding books.
May we remember the reason why we write, whom we write for, and strive to change the world, one book at a time.