Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Whitney finalist???

I received word that I had been nominated for a Whitney award for my book, The Deep End, in early August. Another author for whom I have a great deal of respect had nominated me and e-mailed me to inform me of the nomination. She went on to tell me how much she had enjoyed my novel. I was floored! I didn't know what a Whitney award was at the time, but it sounded good.

While in Utah a week or so later, I met some authors from LDS Storymakers at the LDS Booksellers convention. They explained that the Whitney awards are a new program that recognizes LDS authors. Authors have to receive at least five nominations to be eligible for the award, and then a panel decides which five books in each category will be the finalists.

With that information I pretty much discounted the possibility of becoming a finalist. It was great that I was nominated, especially by another author, but since many people I go to church with don't know that I write (unless they happened to see my name in a catalogue or a copy of my book at an LDS bookstore), I figured I would end up with just the one nomination.

Several weeks later I received some more good news when an e-mail informed me that I was in the top ten of the Deseret Book's bestseller list. I was excited about this milestone even thought I have tried not to let such things take too much importance. Instead I try to stay focused on writing stories I enjoy and hoping that others will enjoy them with me.

This morning I received a string of e-mails relaying the information that the finalists for the Whitney awards would be posted this morning at 7am MST. It was about 8:30 here in Virginia so I went about my business for an hour or so before I got back on my computer and checked my e-mail. I had one from another author who was understandably excited that she had made it as a finalist.

Curiosity got the best of me and I decided I would see who else made the list. Since I didn't really expect to see my book on it, I started looking through each category, noting the books that I have read and others I am considering adding to my list of those I would like to read. I took note of the best novel of the year nominees, then the best new author books. I saw that a book I read this summer, Counting Stars, had also made it as a finalist in the Romance category. Then I got to the Best Mystery/Suspense category and stared. My book was the first one listed. (I'm sure this is because I'm first alphabetically, but I was still shocked!)

The other books in the category are all ones I have heard good things about and I amy truly humbled to find my book displayed beside those of several talented authors. After overcoming my shock of seeing my book on the finalists list, I find myself excited about all of the authors who are undoubtedly sharing the same euphoria that I am, the idea of being recognized for creating something worthy of recognition when the product is simply the result of doing something we love.


Stephanie Humphreys said...

What a wonderful surprise for you. Congratulations!

Marsha Ward said...

Congratulations, Traci! You rock, girl!

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

it's cause you rock traci! i voted for only you! very thrilled for you! thanks for telling me your happy news. i am glad to see you are rewarded for your craft that you do so well at. besides the scriptures, your book series was the only series i totally enjoyed reading in a long time :) kathleen

Corrine said...

that is so awesome, a bloggin friend sent me your way! i will have to check out your books, i have always wanted to write a book and am working up the courage and the story ideas to start! Congratulations!

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

Congratulations! What an honor!

Josi said...

Yes, I'm very much enjoying THIS place because I don't see much hope of actually pulling it out from under the rest of you. It's nice to be in such great company.

Avery Gray said...

That's awesome, Traci! Cangratulations!