Alum wins Amazon writing contest to get novel published

first_imgFor Notre Dame alumnus Jim King, a long-awaited dream came true last May when he received an unexpected call from Amazon on a train ride into New York City. King, a member of the Class of 1977, was one of three finalists for the second annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, an international competition seeking the “next popular novel.” He would later be selected as the grand prize winner out of more than 6,500 manuscript entries.“I got a call one day from a guy from Amazon and he told me that I was one of three finalists,” King said. “Of course I just wanted to scream because I [have been] trying to get a novel published ever since I graduated from Notre Dame in 1977.”As the winner of the competition, King landed a $25,000 publishing contract with The Viking Press to publish his novel, “Bill Warrington’s Last Chance.” The novel is due for release in August.“The total number of manuscripts was around 6,500 and I had entered the contest almost on a lark,” King said. “I almost forgot about it because I didn’t think I stood a chance to win.”The panel that reviewed the top three manuscripts included “Secret Life of Bees” author Sue Monk Kidd, “Alphabet Mystery Series” author Sue Grafton, literary agent Barney Karpfinger and Penguin Press Vice President and Editor-in-Chief Eamon Dolan.King’s novel is the story of a man, Bill Warrington, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, although King never explicitly mentions the disease in the book. Warrington is trying to reconnect with his three adult children who want nothing to do with him.“The main character was inspired by a neighbor of mine who had lost his wife shortly before I met him,” King said. “Over the years the house he built with his own hands was falling apart around him.”In the novel, Warrington decides the only way to bring his family back together is to kidnap his 15-year-old granddaughter April, who dreams of becoming a rock star. The two of them take off across America. Warrington forces his children to come together and talk to one another in order to locate April and him.“The book is about a man trying to bring the family together before it’s too late,” King said. The novel took King about a year and a half to write. He began writing the novel in a masters program he had entered after nearly 30 years of being away from school.“I found out about [the contest] on an agent’s blog and decided to investigate it and found out I was a day or two from missing the deadline,” King said. “I put together a pitch, description and manuscript and sent it in.” “Bill Warrington’s Last Chance” was already complete when King spotted the contest. King had previously written two novels that were not published. Winning the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award was truly King’s “first chance.”“I majored in American Studies. [Professor] Elizabeth Christman, who recently passed away, really encouraged me. She was confident that one day, I would have a novel published,” King said. King is currently a freelance corporate writer but hopes his breakthrough novel will lead him into a career of fiction writing.“I’ve already started on another novel, and I’m hoping this is beginning of a different kind of writing career,” he said. King tells aspiring writers getting published may take awhile, but the key to success is just to keep trying.“It helps to be a stubborn Irishman — which I am. It may take you awhile but keep writing, keep submitting, and don’t give up on the dream.”last_img read more

Video(s): Next-gen German device takes control of Greek waves

first_imgGerman developer SINN Power has been harnessing the power of waves splashing the shores of Crete with its next-generation wave energy converter modules for over a month. Take a look at the videos showcasing the devices in operation, as well as ‘the operation’ of mounting the devices to the port wall in Heraklion.Watch the #installationof our #waveenergy converters in #Greece! ? The produced #energy is now being fed into the local off-grid, supplying energy for the operations ?— SINN Power (@sinnpower) July 12, 2018The spring 2018 saw SINN Power complete the production of the individual components – mostly in Germany – before transporting the wave energy converter modules to Greece.More than two years developing time for mechanical and electrical components and connections payed off – the company announced – after the second generation of wave energy modules ‘worked smoothly’ to produce electricity that is usable within the own off-grid system.Deeming the feat as both milestone and breakthrough – SINN Power said it could now provide a long-term solution for the supply of mini-grid or off-grid systems.The team around the company’s CEO Dr.-Ing. Philipp Sinn was able to develop a second generation of modules that implements the findings obtained from the first prototype that was retrieved from the port wall late in 2016 to give room to new and improved version of the technology.Philipp Sinn said: “A great thank you to all our team for consequent professional and hard work! What we brought to live in the last years is elsewhere done by much larger companies with a multiple of our staff and budget.”The two modules will primarily serve to test the updated technology for its functionality. The island of Crete will welcome three more test modules on the port wall by 2019, SINN Power informed earlier.They will test the electrical connection of several generators in practice and thus serve the further development of the technology.The project is permanently supervised by five to seven SINN Power engineers at the project location in Greece. They monitor the mechanical loads of the revised WEC modules and evaluate the data on the generated electricity. SINN Power’s wave energy modules produce power as the up and down motion of the waves lift the floating bodies of the individual modules, which in turn lift a rod that runs through a generator unit, resulting in electricity generation (Photo: SINN Power)last_img read more