The Thrill of the Win!
Recently, I opened my email and found that I’d won not one—but TWO—book awards. Sara’s Surprise won the 2020 American Book Fest Fiction Award, and Katelyn’s Choice was a finalist in the same award contest. Moreover, a month or so before that, Katelyn’s Choice won the 2020 Illumination Book Awards bronze medal! My first two books were also winners. The Fabric of Hope and Christmas Charity were five-star winners in the Readers’ Choice awards and finalists in the Indie Excellence Book awards. So, it’s been quite a ride—just three years, five books, and the thrill of the win at every turn.
It’s not easy being an author. On the road to getting published, there’s a ton of rejection, criticism, negative input, and dire warnings of failure. There are twists and turns, ups and downs, and days, weeks, or even years of little feedback. And rarely is it financially rewarding. Then, after spending hundreds of hours alone with your computer, cranking out 80,000 words or so, and wondering whether anyone will appreciate what you write, having your work recognized is a life-changing experience. It’s simply no small thing to compete against dozens, even hundreds, of amazing authors who are nominated for these awards and becoming a winner, or even a finalist. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.
With each award announcement I’ve shed tears of joy, trembled in humility, and danced around my house like a two-
year-old on Christmas Day. Each is a precious gift, an incredible experience which reminds me that what I do matters.
Yet I don’t write to win an award; I write to touch lives.
I write because I love to share stories of the Thousand Islands, stories of history and the times past. I care about my readers and want to encourage, enlighten, and edify them. I want to connect with each person who takes the time to delve into the world of my novels. They become so much more than “fans”; they become friends.
Yes, winning an award is validating, encouraging, and edifying. The awards help me find new readers and encourage current readers to keep on reading my books. Receiving such accolades is also humbling, unexpected, and thrilling—all at the same time.
So thank you, my fans and friends, who take the time to read my stories, pass them on to others, write reviews on Amazon or other online stores, and care. At the end of the day, it’s not the awards that matter. It YOU!
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