Okay, so I've finally gotten my thoughts together long enough to let you all know how the Christy's went. It was an exciting trip, getting to see people I hadn't seen in months and having the chance to meet new ones.
I was particularly excited to see some of the Tyndale family there. Tom Pawlik, winner of the Operation First Novel contest in '06 and '09 Christy winner was there with his lovely wife, Colette. Tom was also a nominee this year in the Visionary category, his second nomination for his second book. If you haven't read his first two, Vanish and Valley of the Shadow, check them out. You won't be disappointed!
It was fantastic meeting DiAnn Mills and her husband, as well. DiAnn won the Christy for her novel Breach of Trust, so there was plenty of rejoicing at the Tyndale table!
And, of course, it's always wonderful to see fantastic editors Stephanie Broene and Karen Watson. It was the first time my parents had been able to meet some of the people who have made these books come to life, and I was so thankful they were able to join me in St. Louis.
It was also the first time I'd been able to meet in person my Facebook friend and co-nominee in the First Novel category, Christina Berry. I was proud to be nominated alongside her and so happy to be able to experience such a wonderful event with her.
The room was full of faces I'd seen on the backs of books: Angela Hunt, Terri Blackstock, Robin Jones Gunn... fun to point them out and remember which books of theirs I've read! It was part reunion, part meet-and-greet, and I had a truly lovely time.
Each winner was initially announced by having the first line of their winning book read, and it took me a second to be certain I was hearing my first line when it was being read. Can't tell you how weird it felt to hear my name announced! But there's one thing that has been profoundly evident to me... anything's possible if you leave the details in the Lord's hands. It's amazing the blessings He'll bring your way!
So I came home with a wonderful reminder of how much I appreciate being able to do what I do, and I want to thank all of you who read and support my writing. If it weren't for you, I'd have a bunch of words sitting on my hard drive with no place to go.