Getting the call:
Getting the call that I'd been selected as a finalist for the Carol Award for The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn was a lot like getting the call that I'd sold the same book. My timing was completely off! When I sold Kenzie Thorn, I received a phone call while I was at a conference, and my editor left me a message asking me to call her back. I had to wait all day before I had a chance. With the call about the Carol Award, I was at my day job, so I missed it and didn't listen to it until hours after it arrived.
And the emotions and my reaction were very similar, too. I believe there was a little bit of shaking, a whole lot of laughing in disbelief, and a good chunk of time on the phone with my mom. I felt light as a feather and scared beyond belief.
It's amazing how the thing that you've prayed for for so long (getting that first contract) can also be incredibly intimidating when it actually comes true. And while I wasn't expecting to final in the debut author category for the award, I suddenly feel a renewed desire to improve my writing with every book. That's a lot of pressure on myself. But it's the good kind.
Really I've just been incredibly humbled by getting both calls. I'm so honored to be recognized as a Carol finalist among some pretty amazing writers. I feel unworthy and just so thankful to be named in this group. And I'm thrilled for all of the other finalists, especially the others from Steeple Hill. Congratulations!