Friday, July 24, 2009

Three Books Final - and my weird realizations

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?

Oh, well.

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.

Sharon Hinck


Rel said...

I am so delighted that your books received nominations. Your words and humble spirit have been both a treasure and a challenge to me :)

Big hugs!

Valerie Comer said...

Congrats on the nominations--and hugs!

Pat said...

Congratulations, Sharon. This is quite an honor. I understand your angst, tho. I also write in several genres and feel guilty that I'm not following the rules. But it sounds like you are doing it well.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Congratulations, Sharon! I would have screamed it Stepping into Sunlight hadn't been nominated. I pray it wins!

Cheryl Klarich said...

I love the part about "being happy for my characters"!!
Thanks for sharing from your heart. You always bring hope to my soul.

Hannah said...

Congrats, Sharon! I've loved reading about these characters and am so thankful for your writing. Definitely, definitely hoping that Stepping into Sunlight wins -- it was the best book I read last year, and I still enjoy rereading it.

Amy Tate said...

Hello Sharon, Congratulations on your nominations! I found your workshop from the 2008 ACFW Conference, Habits of the Healthy Writer and I just want to thank you for that! After hearing that CD, I felt like Jesus took chapstick over my very parched heart. Your words are so encouraging, and God used them to remind me that He is in charge of my "writing vineyard." Thank you!

Sharon Hinck said...

Thanks, all.
Amy, I'm SO delighted that God is using the CD of my class to bless you. That means the world to me. And what a lovely metaphor... chapstick over a parched heart.

I've had some unexpected challenges this year and haven't been able to do much that I usually do, so it's DELIGHT to feel like folks are still discovering the class and I'm able to contribute to serving Him in some small way through that CD. You made my day!