Saturday, October 15, 2005

And the Winner Is...

Several weeks ago, I told you about the Quill Book Award, the first national book awards where readers were going to select the winners. I encouraged you to vote because there was a limited window of opportunity. I hope you went over and voted. The Quill Book Award included books in a number of different categories—so there was a wide range of book possibilities from children to various types of fiction to various nonfiction book categories.

Last week, the winners of the 2005 Quill Book Award were announced. Mark your calendar for next Saturday, October 22nd because Brian Williams from NBC News will host the awards ceremony.  I care about these awards for several reasons. First, they are completely centered on books of all types.  Let me encourage you to note the winner of the Romance category, Debbie Macomber, who was nominated for her book, 44 Cranberry Point. She had a single book while mega-selling author, Nora Roberts was nominated for two different romance books. Yet Debbie won!

Earlier this year at the Frontiers In Writing Conference in Amarillo, Texas, I met Debbie and her husband, Wayne Macomber. If you read her blog (on my blogroll) or her books or you have a chance to meet her, you will understand Debbie Macomber is an approachable, kind and regular person—yet with a remarkable story.  After we were together, Debbie keynoted at the Romance Writers of America convention in Reno, Nevada.

If you need some encouragement to persevere with your own writing, let me encourage you to notice a couple of sentences on Debbie’s site: “Debbie Macomber loves to tell the story of how she got published. Of  how she struggled for five years to find a publisher who would buy one of the  manuscripts she wrote in her kitchen on a rented typewriter. Of how the young, dyslexic mother bargained with her four young children to give her the quiet time to write. Of the sacrifices Debbie and her husband, Wayne, made so she could pursue the dream that burned in her heart.”

Now I underlined those phrases in Debbie’s biography.  She continued for five years until she located a publisher and on a “rented” typewriter.  I heard Debbie tell the details of her remarkable story. Today Debbie Macomber has over 60 million books in print. So now you know a tiny bit of the “rest of the story.” As you learn about these winners, let’s celebrate their commitment to the craft of writing and their persistence. It’s an example each of us can follow.

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