I was deeply touched yesterday to find out that my three novels that released in 2008 were each named finalists in the ACFW Book of the Year Awards. I felt so warm and grateful that the judges appreciated the stories, and that my books were in the company of so many amazing authors.
It also spurred a few realizations.
First, I had to shake my head at myself - because the books are nominated in three different categories. It just reminded me how totally inept I am at doing things the way you're supposed to. It really isn't practical to write in different genres while trying to build a reading audience. It wasn't my plan. I just wrote the stories I cared about, and they were very diverse stories. I hope one day to figure out where I best fit, but in the meantime I'm so grateful for each of the stories and that there even EXISTS such a variety of genres in Christian fiction.
Another realization I had was that a lot of my warm happy feeling about this honor came from being happy for my characters. I fell in love with the characters in these three books (Stepping Into Sunlight, Symphony of Secrets, and Restorer's Journey) - and I'm happy for those characters to get to stand up and wave and say "hi!" - for them to have a moment of recognition. Is that weird?
At any rate, I'm also thankful for ACFW - an organization that is doing so much to support, educate, and NOURISH writers. If you aren't familiar with them, be sure to check them out here! Honors come and go (or often don't come at all) but the fellowship of other Christian writers is a treasure that remains on all the hard slogging days.