Saturday, October 01, 2011

Wow...



I couldn't settle on an appropriate title for this blog post.
"Wow" is about the best I could come up with. You see, I woke up this morning to receive the news that Yesterday's Tomorrow is on the shortlist in the romance category, in the 2011 INSPY Awards. Stunned, speechless and simply amazed at God's grace pretty much sums up how I'm feeling right now.
Of course I've heard of these awards, but I admit I haven't really been keeping up with things like this, so I didn't even know my book was on the long list. And now it's on the short list.
Wow.

The amazing thing about all this is that a year ago, I was waiting. Waiting to hear back from my publisher as to whether or not they liked my book enough to want to publish it.
It was my last-ditch effort at trying to find a home for a book that some said would never be published. The book of my heart.
My prayer at that point was simply, "Lord, your will be done."
I held on to the tiniest sliver of hope, but pressed forward, writing other things, trying not to listen to the voice inside my head that said I would never be a published author.

God had other plans.

I gave Him my words, a story that somehow seeded itself deep inside my soul, and the desires of my heart. He took all those things and blessed them.
Do I deserve it? I could say, "Of course I do! Do you have any idea how long I worked on that book? How many tears I've cried over it? How badly I wanted, maybe even needed, it to be published? If anyone deserves this it's ME!!"
Yes, I could say that. It's awfully tempting.
But no.
The best thing about a blessing is that we totally do not deserve it.
But God gives them to us anyway.
I think maybe it's His way of reminding us to look up, get our focus off ourselves and back on Him.

Am I a little excited about all of this? Sure am. I'm so honored to be up against brilliant authors like Jody Hedlund, Tamara Alexander, Julie Lessman and Siri Mitchell - I mean, seriously?? I'm looking at this list and thinking somebody was smoking something when they put my name up there with those guys. Really.
I need to publicly thank my super-agent, Rachelle, for continuing to believe in me. And Ramona Tucker and everyone at OakTara, who loved my story, and made this author very happy by agreeing to publish it.

I'm still a little blown-away that readers actually like it. Like it enough to nominate for this award apparently.
I'm honored. I'm humbled.
And I am here to testify that miracles do happen.
Don't give up on your dreams.
Ever.

13 comments:

Loree Huebner said...

A big congrats to you! I loved the book.

Lynette Sowell said...

Congratulations, Cathy! I think you're one of the writers I've known the longest in my writing journey, and I'm so happy to hear your news. :)

Martha Ramirez said...

Awesome post! Congrats!!

Lynda Schab said...

SO THRILLED for you, my friend. Congratulations!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Wow! Congratulations, Cathy! So nice to meet you in St. Louis.

What great company you are in! I'd be pinching myself too!

And thanks for those comforting words of encouragement. That's exactly how I feel right now - but you're right. God's timing is everything and we have to be patient.

Cheers and best of luck,
Sue

Sue Harrison said...

Yes, Yes, Yes, Cathy!!!! I'm so happy for you. And thank you for the wonderful post you wrote about your journey toward publication. It's so good to have God beside us during tough times and during our celebrations!

Tracy Krauss said...

Congrats. Both you and this wonderful book deserve to win!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow! Congratulations.

Catherine West said...

Thanks, everyone!!

Elaine Stock said...

Congratulations, Cathy. As I've said--and as I've spread the word during the ACFW conference--Yesterday's Tomorrow is truly one of the best books I've read in a long time. I truly enjoyed it. I'm really touched by your reminder that no matter how long or how hard our journey from brewing an idea to getting it down on paper to seeing it published is, that we don't "deserve" a thing but rather it's in God's grace that our stories reach someone, and that it really is all about writing for Him.

One regret about the St. Louis conference: not meeting you face-to-face.

Yet.

Catherine West said...

Elaine, I know! I really wanted to meet you as well. So many people and on the go all the time, it's hard to see everyone unfortunately!

Keli Gwyn said...

Mega congratulations, Cathy, on your INSPY Award nomination! I whooped and hollered when I first heard the news.

Catherine West said...

Ha, Keli!! I really want to see you whoop and holler!! I'll have to sit next to you at the awards banquet next year!! Thanks for the support!