Sunday, July 20, 2008

Back from Orlando, and thanks for your congrats!


You guys are the best! I returned from Orlando this week to find my Inbox stuffed with congrats! Last Saturday was a very special night for me. As many of you (obviously) already know, Remembered won the 2008 Christy Award for the Romance category, and I was thrilled--and humbled--at the same time.

I'll tell you about that night in a second, but first I want to tell you about another award I received the day before, on Friday afternoon, just to balance things out. ;)

I attended a novelist's retreat prior to ICRS and each year we save our "best worst review" to share with each other. Now, let me go ahead and say that I am SO okay with the truth that not everyone is going to like my books. That's just the way it is. I think every writer eventually reaches a point when they realize that they must write the best story they can, with where they are at that point in their career, and then give it to the One for whom they're writing. And then let God do with it what He will. Okay, that said...

About a month ago, I received a letter from a reader who really loved Rekindled but who didn't care for (and that's putting it nicely) any of my other books. They expressed their feelings quite well and ended their letter with the phrase "something is terribly wrong." Well, that review won me the "Rotten Review of the Year" award on Friday. And then Saturday...I won the Christy! Life's full of wonderful little serendipities.

Now, to last Saturday night...

If you've been to the Christy's, then you know how the evening goes... At the outset, they call all the finalists up to the front and award them each with a medallion. Here I am with Deborah Raney and DiAnn Mills right after we each received our medallions.


When the time comes to announce the winners of each category, the emcee reads the names of each of the finalists for that category, then says, "And the winner is..." Then they simply start reading from the book that won.

Well, when I heard "Veronique Eveline Girard laid a single white rose on her mother's grave, and bent low to whisper into the afterlife..." I...could...not...breathe. I promise you, my body slimmer shrank by two sizes (and with no room to spare as it was)! Not to be melodramatic, but that's a moment I'll remember forever.

Not because of winning the award (and not because of the body slimmer, though that was memorable), but because I got a glimpse of my own journey with the Lord. A few years ago, God offered me an opportunity to do something I never thought I could do--to write. And He's proven to me, time and time again, that this writing journey isn't about me at all. It's about giving Him your dreams, giving Him everything you've got, and then hanging on for the journey He leads you on.

I want to acknowledge, again, the wonderful writers I finaled with in the Romance Category. Deborah Raney (my writing partner for six years now) has taught me so much about writing and is my "first editor" on all my books. Thanks, Deb, for sharing your talent with me. But even more, for sharing your friendship. And when I first started attending writers conferences in 2002, I attended classes taught by DiAnn Mills and just soaked up that woman's knowledge. So thank you both, ladies, for taking me under your wings.


And thank you, friends, for your encouraging notes of "congrats" this week. I returned to Nashville to a busy week, to substantive edits waiting for me for The Inheritance, and wanting to make major headway on Beyond This Moment (which I'm loving writing Molly and James' story). Plus I leave this Thursday for a writers' retreat on the west coast which is always a wonderful, rejuvenating time where we brainstorm each other's next books (plot and play, we call it). It's an event I look forward to all year long, but I hope to (and must!) squeeze in time to write while there.

Now, for some pics from the weekend in Orlando--

Me with Robin Lee Hatcher and Sunni Jeffers
(my roomies and ICRS Conference buddies)


Deb Raney and me


Me with my parents, Doug and June Gattis
following the Christy Awards Dinner.
Was so great to have them there with me!


Karen Ball, Robin Lee Hatcher and Neta Jackson

Me, Deb, and Susan Meissner (sharing a ride back to the airport)


I'll share pics from the ICRS Booksigning (From a Distance) and other glimpses later this week!

And don't forget to sign up for the current giveaway.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Tammy,

    CONGRATS!!! What an exciting accomplishment. God is doing amazing things for women through your books. You are such an inspiration to me! We miss you!!

    Apryll

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  2. Tamera, I got chills reading about your amazing night! Congratulations, and how amazing to read about it!! Thank you for sharing :)

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  3. Congratulations again, Tamera, on your Christy Award !! I'm sure you are so deserving of it, and an inspiration to many people. Thanks for sharing your evening with your fans (details and pics!). And what a marvelous blessing to have your precious parents there with you! :) I'm very happy for you. Hugs, Patti

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  4. Congrats, congrats to you Tamera!! I've been a bit AWOL - I was on a mission trip starting the day of the Christys and then my mom was in the hospital last week.

    But I had a friend text me on my trip that you had won. (I was keeping an eye on you and Angie Hunt!) I was sooooo excited for you!! Love all your books and can't wait for more!

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  5. Thanks, Apryll! Missing you guys too. More than you know!

    flchen1, you're always so encouraging! Many thanks!

    I loved having my parents there, Patti. Was such a special treat! I'm so proud of them!

    Thanks for that, Linda. and LOL on the "keeping an eye" on me and Angie. :) BTW, Angie looked GORGEOUS that night. She's so stunning.

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  6. Congrats, but....why on earth did you feel the need to wear a body slimmer? Goodness, lady, you are drop-dead gorgeous! No need to try to improve on perfection. :o)

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  7. ROFLOL, Kim. Your check is in the mail. And I'm headed for the treadmill (so perhaps next year I WON'T need a body slimmer!). ;~)

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