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Lockport resident and self-published author Donna Zadunajsky has become a semifinalist in the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Authors Project with her book “Twisted Secrets.”
Zadunajsky is one of ten semifinalists in the Adult Fiction category to gain recognition through the project. Her book “Twisted Secrets” is her third in a series of adult fiction novels that include previous works “Family Secrets” and “Hidden Secrets.” The winner has not yet been announced for the competition, but Zadunajsky is hopeful.
“I was so surprised to hear the news,” said Zadunajsky. “It felt great! If I do end up winning, which would be really nice, I’ll fly back up to Illinois.”
Though Zadunajsky has now taken up residence in Naples, Fla, to focus on writing, her home library is still listed as Lockport Public Library. Even though one of the requirements of the competition is to be an Illinois resident, Zadunajsky still qualifies, as she was a resident when she submitted her work.
Should Zadunajsky win the competition, she will be awarded a cash prize, increased recognition, the opportunity to compete in the national Indie Author Project competition and more opportunities to work with traditional publishers. In addition, participating libraries would give her the opportunity to promote her book and dispense print copies.
The winner will be announced in late October. Zadunajsky continues to keep busy with writing in anticipation of the October announcement.
“Now that I’ve been writing for 10 years, I have a rhythm,” said Zadunajsky. “I wake up at 5 a.m. to write before I go to my fulltime job. I try to write 10,000 words in a week.”
Zadunajsky's writing history long precedes her work with the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Authors Project. In total, she has written 15 works: seven children’s books and eight adult novels. In addition, she has recently finished three novels as part of a new series, for which she is trying to get traditionally published.
Authors like Zadunajsky are exactly what libraries participating in the project are looking for.
As the demand for self-published books and e-books has increased, librarians who developed the STBF project have taken it upon themselves to seek out untapped writing potential and get authors published through their own means.
According to a press release from the Clarendon Hills Public Library, to date, 32 percent of bestselling books on Amazon are self-published. By winning the competition, Zadunajsky will put herself in a position to join those coveted ranks.