Home » 2016 California Hooker Winner – Carole Brungar

2016 California Hooker Winner – Carole Brungar

The 2017 California Hooker Contest is open until January 31, 2017. Last summer, the winners for 2016 were announced during the RWA® National Conference in San Diego, CA. This year the winners will be announced in March at the California Dreamin’ Writers Conference. Carole Bungar was announced as the winner for her entry The Nam Legacy. For more information on the contest, please click here.

Carole, please tell us about what it was like to find out you were the winner of the 2016 California Hooker contest.


WinnerWhen you feel passionate about something, it consumes you. It eats away until there is a raging fire within you that no matter how much you drink, you can’t extinguish. For me, that passion was the Vietnam War. Over the years I’ve read everything I could get my hands on. Watched the movies, the t.v series, and even talked to veterans, until I kind of lost control and the only way to contain the passion, was to write. After 160,000 words, the story wasn’t enough, I had to get on a plane and visit the country, walk in my characters footsteps, relive some of their experiences. Live with them, suffer with them. Laugh with them and cry with them. The Nam Legacy is an epic love story that opens with a fire-fight in the jungles of South Vietnam in 1968. It was that fire-fight that won the competition for me.

When the news came that I was a finalist in the Hooker Contest, it was as good as being the winner, from my point of view and I was thrilled. At the time of the conference I had to go away for the weekend and I watched the Facebook page for news and updates of conference happenings. I remember thinking one night, as I lay in bed, that in California at that time, the prize-winners were being announced hundreds of miles away, and although I didn’t expect to win, I still wished I could have been there. I woke the following morning at four and thinking that as I was awake, I should check my emails. Then scolded myself and promptly turned the bedside lamp off and went back to sleep. When I woke at six, the first thing I did was check my emails. And there in my inbox was a congratulatory email to say I had won! It had arrived at four fifteen. I was so excited I rang my husband and burst into tears, then my daughter and burst into tears again. I floated for the rest of the week!

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Carole’s first novel is now available on Amazon

Being named the winner of the 2016 California Hooker Contest was an incredible moment. I would define it as one of those moments I will always remember, and in years to come I will still be able to tell you what I was doing when I found out I’d won! For an emerging writer, it made me feel the hours I have dedicated to the craft so far, have been all worth it. I felt humbled and honoured, especially as there are so many great writers out there, and want to thank those judges who believed in my story. I was pretty excited when that beautiful necklace and the certificate arrived.

Although I hadn’t completed the first draft at the time of the competition, The Nam Legacy is now in the final stages of edits, has a stunning cover* and is on target for publication in April. And I am so proud of it!

*The Nam Legacy cover reveal is scheduled for mid-February. Keep checking back with Carole for more details!


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CAROLE BRUNGAR lives in the North Island of New Zealand with her hubby and two delightful cats. She has a Degree in Communication Management and Journalism and workz as a communications advisor. The family has two acres of park-like grounds in a rural town with lots of old trees and plentiful bird life. When she has the time, she loves to walk amongst the trees and garden.

As a journalist, she has been writing for many years, and The Nam Legacy is her second novel. She is self-publishing The Nam Legacy and has a release date set for April 2017. You can find Carole at her website: www.carolebrungar.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolebrungarauthor or on Twitter as @nznovelist

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