Friday, October 3, 2014

Color me surprised! A Carol Award!




Well..color me surprised! I was not even there for the big moment when my name was announced as a winner of the 2014 ACFW Carol Award for Romantic Suspense. I mean...gee, the other two books in my category were both written by the fabulous, amazing Irene Hannon who leaves me somewhat star struck. Imagine my surprise to hear from Chip, my agent that I actually won. It's been soaking in for the last few days and here are my big old hunks of wisdom gleaned from winning this amazing award.

1. I'm just the vessel. I mean that from a Christian perspective, but also from a practical one. The idea to write a missionary nurse story set somewhere internationally wasn't mine, it came from Chip MacGregor. He said, "Hey, I've got a publisher interested in an international setting with a missionary  as the hero. Are you game?" I was game. I mined my family's history (my mother lived briefly in Guatemala) and researched, interviewed and picked people's brains until they couldn't stand the sight of me. You see? I just put the words on the page, but the idea and the story came from many, many different folks who filled me up with their experiences. The vessel, that's all.

2. The award will not change my life. Someone asked me that the other day. "How did winning a Carol last year change your life?" (I was blessed to receive the Carol in 2013 as well.) My answer? It didn't. Oh don't get me wrong, it was a sweet, sweet thing to hear my name called. Yes, I put it on my website and yes, I splashed it around the cyber world with a decided lack of humility, but at the end of the day, the trophy goes on my shelf and my bottom goes back in the chair. When I have one of those moments where I think I am THE worst writer on the planet, I can take a look and savor the moment again. Perhaps that's the biggest payoff of all.

The 2014 Carol Award winners are Katherine Reay, Julie Cantrell, Jody Hedlund, Terri Blackstock, Melissa Jagears, Becky Wade, Tina Radcliffe, Patrick Carr and Melody Carlson. Have you read any of these fine ladies? Does "award winning" on a book cover convince you to buy it?

6 comments:

  1. I like your question at the end. Do the words Award Winning convince you to buy?

    When I was a reader and not a writer at all, those words often did. Even today, for YA and children's, I'll look at the Caldecutt, etc.

    In my own genre, though, how funny. Those words often don't inspire me to buy. I think it's because I've either already purchased the book or... hmmm, I wonder what should go on the other side of the or...

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  2. Yes, having viewed things from the writer's side now, I am not as impressed with "award winning" as I used to be. Thanks for the comment. :)

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  3. Congratulations, Dana! Like Pamela, "award winning" meant a lot to me before my work was published. I do notice it now, especially if I'm not familiar with an author, but it's not the sole deciding factor. Story always comes first.

    I love your comment about thinking you're the worst writer on the planet. I'd been hoping that feeling would go away one day. Apparently not.

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  4. Mega congrats, Dana. I was very excited to hear your name called. Great speech by the way, delivered, of course, as only Chip can do. Cracked me up. :)

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  5. Congrats. And awards may not convince the public to buy, but it says your fellow writers think your story is great, no matter where the idea came from.

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  6. Congratulations Dana! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on winning. :)
    And I'm still amazed that even multi-published, award-winning authors actually have days they feel they're a terrible writer! Keeps things in perspective, I guess. :)
    Blessings, Patti Jo

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