Forgive my bragging, but this sort of thing, winning a prestigious medal for a novel, doesn’t happen every day. But more to the point, my mother recently passed away, February 22nd, to be exact. I loved her very much, and it was hard, even though she was 94. I wrote Death of a Clown, a mystery noir, several years ago, using my perception of her persona in the circus before I came into being. Mom was my muse and my muse served me well. I even insisted on using a photo of her sitting on an elephant on the cover. I was notified about the award around Mother’s Day. It was my first Mother’s Day without my mother. I can’t tell you what it meant to me, to win the Silver IPPY around that time. I know wherever Mom is, she looks down and smiles with love, happy at my good fortune. It doesn’t make me miss her any less, quite the contrary. But it does settle well on my heart.