But first, let's chat a bit with my friend Dawn Crandall.
Dawn, what was your honest reaction when you got the call or the e-mail you were a Genesis semi-finalist?
I was completely shocked when I got the email. I was in a long line of traffic and was actually looking for an email from my CP. I had absolutely no expectation of being a semi-finalist! I hadn't even told my husband about it... thinking nothing would likely come of it.
How did you celebrate?
Whenever I get news like this I just want to stay home and be happy. I did the very same thing when I signed with my agent. I just like to be at home so much, there's no better place to be when you're experiencing such shockingly delightful emotions.
Dawn, see, this is my fault for not keeping up with you better but I had no idea you were agented. CONGRATS! Ok, so what would you say to friends who didn't advance this time around in Genesis?
I don't usually enter into writing contests because I get such differing opinions from judges... that feel more like a waste of money than an investment in my writing career. So, yeah, I know how it feels. But seriously, just keep plugging away. Last year at this time I'd never even heard of ACFW, and I surely wouldn't have believed I'd have an agent shopping my first book while my second book made it to the semi-final round of the Genesis Contest. That would have been CRAZY thinking.
You're in the right blog for all things crazy. ;-) What are the three things you must have when writing?
A large block of gloriously quiet TIME, my laptop and my brainstorming notebook.
Nice. And last, can you tell my blog readers the #1 on your bucket list or some random fact hardly anyone knows about you?
Well, I wouldn't say that "hardly any" of the day-to-day people in my life don't know I have ADHD... but it's likely something most of my online writer friends don't know.
You're right, I didn't know that. But I also didn't know you'd signed with an agent, so clearly I'm late!
Thank you so much for stopping by and I can wholeheartedly tell you how much I'm cheering for you to final (since you're not in my category, LOL) Thank you so much for stopping by my friend!
Blog readers, Dawn writes historical romance and I KNOW how much you love your historical romance here, so check her out at www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com
Next is my friend Kathleen Freeman. Kathleen and I have an inside joke involving hot dogs we might be persuaded to share one day. Might. But first, let's hear how Kathleen responded to the news she was a 2012 Genesis semifinalist.
Relief ; ), yeah I know, right? Excitement, and then, you'll love this, Nancy, surprise that another of mine which was close last year didn't make it.
I do love that. Because you have SO MANY good stories in so many different genres you still kind of intimidate me, LOL. I only had one in Genesis, but you know which kid of mine it is so needless to say I was relieved as well when he made it. ;-) What can you say to our friends who didn't make it to semi finals this year?
I understand your disappointment. Many of you are fantastic writers, I've seen your stuff. Take heart in knowing mood can affect judges and next year will be different. A work I submitted last year, which came really close, was not the one to make the semi-finals this year. My semi-final was a work that flirted with mediocrity last year. I LOVE this contest because the feedback is excellent. This one likely made the semis this year because of the feedback I applied from last year. I've read many of the entries making the semis this year, and I have to say, you had some mighty stiff competition. Timing is everything. I believe God has a plan for every one of us.
Well said, Kathleen. But no surprise there! How'd you celebrate?
I called my husband and then sat giggling and staring like a crazy person.
I like it. =) I'm surprised I don't already know this, but what three things are must-haves for you to write?
Chocolate, the support of family, crit groups, and God, and then cheese puffs- Barbara's. MMMM!
That's fantastic. (Note to self. Send Kathleen chocolate and find out more about these cheese puffs.) Anything else you want to add before you go?
I'm pretty transparent. My every whim and passion is put into my stories.
You're the best, Nancy! Congrats to all of you!
You're the best, Nancy! Congrats to all of you!
Thanks Kathleen! See you on the loop. ;-)
Next, we have my friend Terri Wangard. Not only does she write great historical fiction, but is clearly a thrill-seeker with the bridge climbing in Australia. I can't wait to get her to tell me more about this later.
Terri, what was your honest reaction when you got the call or the e-mail you were a Genesis semi-finalist?
It's been a roller coaster. When I saw the coordinator's email in my box with the subject heading, "Congratulations," it took my breath away. Could it really be?? Thursday morning my mail box was filled with congratulatory notes from friends. Thursday afternoon I received another email from the coordinator, "Thank you so much for entering... attached are your judged entry, three files with comments and scores from three judges." I opened the first file and... that wasn't my story. They all belonged to someone else. Our stories had been mixed up and mine hadn't advanced after all. Then I read the accompanying letter. "This one is not the one that semifinaled. :0 It was your other entry that went on and I won't send those back until after the 2nd round judging is done." I had only one entry and it did advance. Whee. Whoever wrote this other story got some nice scores.
My turn is it? Well, it's kind of funny that the entry form for Genesis specifically requested the legal name and not pseudonym for entries. That's how only my closest friends and family knew that the Nancy Diekmann in the list was me, and all my writer friends were freaking out that I didn't semi-final and e-mailing and facebooking me. (Because they're awesome like that! =)
When I saw the e-mail in my inbox, I freaked. I was expecting a phone call but I opened the e-mail that started with CONGRATULATIONS! I was at my day job coming back from lunch and the office was empty, so there wasn't anyone around to tell. I'm going to be really honest here and say that I fully expected to semi-final. So making it was great, unlike Christian Writers of the West The Rattler where I fully expected to final and then didn't. (Lost a heart-break tie for third place by nine-tenths a point.)
I celebrated by e-mailing my closest friends and writing buddies and splurging on a ten piece McNugget meal for dinner. Seriously, that's how I celebrated. Hey, I'm saving up for Dallas. ;-)
It was bittersweet because there were some names I was surprised I didn't see in the lists. For those of you brave enough to put your work out there to be judged and didn't advance, Ashley Clark over at the great blog The Writers Alley said it better than I ever could here.
And if you're wondering who the tall, handsome Australians are on my arms in the photo above, then you have yet to discover the awesome that is the Christian band FOR KING & COUNTRY. So I'm going to help you and give away an autographed copy of their CD CRAVE (which is seriously fantastic) to one lucky commenter just for congratulating my friends Dawn and Terri here on the blog. Leave me your e-mail if you're not a follower so I know how to find you. =) And here's a little FK&C to whet your appetite.