Really, why go to the trouble? Why not spend the evenings chilling out rather than... well... writing?
Here's the thing. I don't believe a book is worth anything unless it means something to you. In other words, don't waste your time reading something that doesn't move you, make you laugh or cry, or most importantly, teach you something about life that you never would have guessed. Yes, you heard correctly. I'm an author, who needs to promote my book and earn a living (of course), but am also telling you to stop wasting time on pointless reads.
On the one hand, that's kind of counterproductive. But on the other, I wouldn't have bothered typing 700 odd e-pages, if I didn't think there were people out there who could take something from it. Go, "oh my gosh, this makes so much sense now." "That's really made me think." I honestly would say be more choosy with books. You don't have to finish one if it doesn't spark at least some passion.
The point is, I want to help people. There's a big market nowadays for self help books, but wouldn't it be much more exciting to learn the same lessons - in a story? At least, that was the motivation. Randouka is only one of many ideas that have been swimming around my head for years now, she's just the first to make it on to paper (congrats, first prize!) You may find that the story covers too many heavy subjects, which is fine. Take it easy and come back when you're ready. Or maybe, it was just what you needed to hear in order to get past the next block in your own life. The characters have some awesome experiences, and some downright dreadful ones - that's why it's recommended for older readers and those who can handle some trauma. I would never want to offend anyone and please get in touch if there's something you need to say.
If you've read this far and it hasn't sparked your interest, then... I guess you're on the wrong site.
Overall, Randouka exists to entertain, take you to new worlds and hopefully, even if it's just for a moment, gives you an insight or motivation to start your own adventure. Go on, what are you waiting for? Enjoy!