An Edgar Nomination for Icefall

Just a quick note with some really cool Icefall news. Pretty soon, I hope to do another post about the travel I did in the fall, as well as a belated New Year kind of thing where I talk about my writing goals for the upcoming year.

But in the meantime, I’m really excited to announce that Icefall is a nominee for the Edgar Allan Poe Award in the juvenile fiction category! I am so thrilled by this. I love mysteries. I grew up watching Mystery! on PBS. I had the Edward Gorey introduction memorized, down to the desperate cooing of the lady in distress…

…and Jeremy Brett will always be my first Sherlock Holmes.

That said, the mystery aspect of Icefall was something I always felt a bit insecure about, and doubted whether I could actually write. I think it helped that as a mystery, it is unconventional. I deliberately set out with two goals when writing it. First, I wanted multiple theories to be proven correct in the end. Second, I wanted to write a mystery where the reader didn’t actually want to know who did it. What I mean by that is, I wanted the reader to love each of the characters so much that, like Solveig, they don’t want to find out that any one of them would be capable of betraying her and her family. I don’t know if I accomplished either, but the fact that Icefall has been nominated for a mystery award delights me to no end. Thank you to the Mystery Writers of America.


Icefall is also a finalist for the Cybils in the Middle Grade Science Fiction and Fantasy category, and I’m so excited about that as well. It’s always interesting to me to hear Icefall described as fantasy. Some don’t consider it to be fantasy at all, but historical fiction. As the author, I’m not sure what it is. I know that it feels like a fantasy, because the world in which it takes place is quite foreign, and the Norse myths and legends seem to be stalking the characters, lurking in the mist and the ice. But you never actually see Odin, or Thor, or any dragons or trolls. In the end, I don’t know that it has to be one or the other for the reader to enjoy it. First and foremost, it’s a story.


The New York Public Library recently released their 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing for 2011. Icefall is on the list, and so are a great many other wonderful titles. You should check them out.


And here are a few more reviews of Icefall from around the web.

Kids Reads

Fantasy Literature

Pica Reads

Bibliophile Support Group

Tripping Over Books

Mother. Write. (Repeat.)

Fantasy Book Critic

Luxury Reading


9 responses to “An Edgar Nomination for Icefall”

  1. Matt- I am thrilled for your Edgar nomination! Huge Congratulations!!

    And I too had the mystery PBS opening memorized, and I watched all of those Sherlock Holmes shows. The first one I ever saw was the Speckled Band, and I still remember terror I felt. I still hate snakes.

  2. A little late to the party, but congratulations!
    And I think Jeremy Brett is the best Sherlock Holmes of all time. My sister and I loved watching the show on A&E. The biolin music for the opening credits is awesome. Also, watched Mystery! too. The opening is just like the artwork for Joan Aiken’s books.

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