I finally heard from Richard Hoffman! He said that I could use the quote he wrote about my book (the one he included in the announcement of my winning the prize) in any way I saw fit. He ended by writing, “Congrats again on having written a remarkable novel.” What a kind soul! I do hope I have the chance to speak with him again someday soon, maybe take a class from him. Richard seemed to have many valuable/insightful things to say.
I e-mailed a thank-you to Eric for his excellent photography. He refused to accept payment for his work, saying that all he wanted was a signed copy of my novel. I’m surrounded by nice people!