By Carol Stevenson Santa Clarita Contributor Valencia resident Collin Lee, an experienced copywriter but newcomer to picture books, recently won one of the world’s top independent book awards. His book The Efil Brothers won an Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) gold medal in the Children’s Picture Books (All Ages) category. The Efil Brothers is the story of Felix and Maurice Efil, twin brothers living in Nowhereville. Everybody knew them, but nobody knew how long they’d been around. Felix owned a small watch shop. Maurice owned the mortuary next door. The timeless story follows an unlikely friendship, a mother’s heartbreaking love and a magical watch shop. The story is artfully illustrated by Jiyoung Choi, a college student and Santa Clarita Resident. “I’ve been working on The Efil Brothers periodically for 20 years. When I finally found just the right illustrator in Jiyoung, I knew the time had come to finally create the book I had envisioned,” said Lee. “After publishing it, I really wanted to know how it stacked up against other children’s picture books.” So two days before the deadline, he submitted it for an IPPY award. Established in 1996, the Independent Publisher Book Awards, also known as the IPPY Awards, received 5,000 entries for 83 categories in 2017. It is considered by many as one of the highest honors for independent authors and publishers worldwide. The Efil Brothers was one of only two gold medalists this year. In addition to his newly earned status as award-winning author, Collin Lee has a Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and is a marketing professional with extensive experience in all aspects of marketing and advertising. Fluent in both English and Korean, Lee has served as a business liaison between Korean and American companies. The Efil Brothers is available as a hardcover and an ebook at major online booksellers worldwide, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, eBay Books, Google Books, iBooks, Kindle and Kobo. An exclusive autographed hardcover is also available at the book’s website: https://theefilbrothers.com/.