Friday, December 15, 2017

Local author wins Nero Wolfe Award By Lorraine Glowczak

Author Al Lamanda hasn’t wasted much time since his screenplay turned Hollywood film, “American Violence that starred Denise Richards and Michael Pare was released this past February.
Instead, he has continued typing away with his crime, western and mystery novels. In doing so, Lamanda was recently awarded the highly prized and prestigious Nero Wolfe Award for his mystery novel, “With 6 You Get Wally.”

Lamanda, who lives in the Lakes Region, flew to New York City the first of December to accept his award at the Nero Wolfe Banquet held at a private banquet hall in Manhattan. The event was hosted by the Nero Wolfe Society.

Lamanda signing his book for a fan at the awards banquet
The Nero Wolfe Society is an organization for those who enjoy reading and writing great literary works of mystery through a series of events and book discussions. The Society’s name is based upon the popular fictional character – a genius detective named Nero Wolfe. The character was created in 1934 by mystery writer, Rex Stout, who wrote 33 novels and 39 novellas and short stories from 1934 to 1975.

Lamanda was delighted to not only receive this award but enjoyed the camaraderie and the opportunity to meet Stout’s daughter as well. “The Nero Banquet was an amazing experience,” Lamanda said. “It’s not really open to the public, just members of the Nero Wolfe Society. I was particularly pleased that the daughter of Rex Stout, the author of the Nero Wolfe novels, was in attendance. Just one other author was there, the winner of the best short story award. The whole evening was fun, a lot of jokes and singing.”

Although this was his first time to receive the award, it was not his first time to be nominated. “I have been nominated twice before, this is the first time I have actually won this highly prized and very prestigious award,” Lamanda said.

To be selected as a possible candidate for the award, there is a series of steps. Lamanda explained that publishers submit the novel and author they feel has the best chance of winning. The Nero Wolfe committee then reads all the submitted novels and selects four as finalists. Those four are then read again and one is selected to win the Nero Award. Once the winner is announced, a short acceptance speech is expected.

Lamanda has published twenty-one books thus far, with five new books to be published in the next twelve months. He also is working diligently on two screenplays that will again become Hollywood films in the near future. Due to contractual agreements, Lamanda can not go into details at this time.
With such successes behind him, one would assume the author would not be surprised by his Nero Wolfe award, but this is not the case. “What is truly amazing to me is that just one author is selected per year and I guess I’m still a bit blown away by the fact that I was chosen for this honor,” Lamanda said.

It is the usual custom to share authors’ websites but in a previous interview, Lamanda admitted he prefers to spend his energy on writing and therefore does not have a website.

“I want to focus on the things I enjoy,” Lamanda explained in that interview “Creating and maintaining a website takes away the time I want to spend on writing.”

It seems that focusing on his passion to write novels and screenplays is working very well for him.

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