Earlier this week I announced that I won a bronze medal in the Illumination Book Awards. Because it was exciting, I made sort of a big deal of it on Facebook. For two days I posted mysterious pictures and hints that I had big news to share. On the third day I did a Facebook Live Video and announced the win! I also described my plans to run a big ad campaign on the winning book the last week of March.
Hundreds of my readers and personal friends weighed in on my Facebook posts with likes and loves and congratulations. It's been a really banner week in my author life!
The Illumination Book Awards are in their sixth year and are sponsored by the Jenkins Group (Jerry Jenkins). Their motto is "Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books." My book, Crescendo, won the bronze medal (third place) in the category of Inspirational Romance Fiction. I was particularly impressed that one of my co-medalists (in a different category) was Kathie Lee Gifford! I wonder if she'll invite us all on to the Today Show before she retires! Ha ha. Here is a complete look of all the esteemed winners.
Today, I was updating the Crescendo book page on my website and I clicked on the video that I recorded on the very day, back in July of last summer, that I wrote THE END on the first draft of Crescendo. I was practically bursting with excitement about this book. It held the distinction of being the very first book that I wrote after retiring from my big demanding day job that I juggled with my writing career for close to two decades. It was such a pleasure to write this book, unobstructed by the pressures and demands of another whole professional world. Instead of writing when I was tired and worn out and spent, I could give my very best self to my writing. I said, in this video, that I felt this was the very best book I had ever written.
In the months since I filmed that video, the level of my enthusiasm for the book gradually slipped my mind. I'd gone on to edit it, and format it, and submit it to all the retailers for sale. I'd worked with my cover artist and I created promotional graphics, and I submitted promos to bloggers and I advertised it. And when it released, it had a wildly successful launch! Then I went on to write another book, Capsized, and repeated everything I'd done with Crescendo. That's the way it goes for an indie author.
Amidst all the work, and the tasks and the process steps, it slipped my mind how much I loved Crescendo when I wrote it. The fact that I was honored with this huge award, for that very book, makes me smile. The quality of my work was validated. Thank you, God. My gut may have been right. Crescendo may be the best book I've ever written. But it won't be the last.
I want every book I write to speak to me. Tell me when it needs more tweaking, and tell me when it's reached greatness. And with God's help, I pray that every book I write is an inspiration to someone. I consider my books to be my ministry to the world. My tagline is: Heartwarming, life-changing Christian fiction. My books are a team effort between God and I. With His help, I write the most inspiring stories I can, and with my help, He guides them to the people He feels most needs to/wants to read them. I plant the seed and he makes them bloom.
I thank you for being along on the journey!!