Yes, you heard it right, Tom Pawlik’s book VANISH has won this year’s coveted Christy Award in the Visionary category (Speculative Fiction). Congratulations, Tom! What a great win, especially considering this is Tom’s first book.
This book was just reviewed by the CSFF Blog Tour last month. The sad part is that when I wrote that review I hadn’t read his entire book, and that’s pretty clear from the way I wrote my review … just looking at the opening chapter (available free online), and the different Amazon reviews written by others.
BUT… I really got hooked and wanted to read this book, so when my son, Leighton, wanted to buy a book and download it on my daughter’s new Kindle book reader (a high school graduation gift), I gave VANISH as one of two recommendations.
Leighton, who is 14, read the sample chapters of VANISH and another book (not to be mentioned), and he chose VANISH, bought it with his own money, and downloaded it in less than a minute.
When he had finished reading the book, he summed it up this way: “VANISH was the best book I have ever read.” Wow. If he had some more pocket change, he would have bought VALLEY OF THE SHADOW (book 2) right away.
So, Tom, you have some rabid followers in this house, and when I can find the time, I’ll be picking up that, er, Kindle thingy and reading it!
On a side note, I wanted to point out one of the Finalists in the visionary category who did not win: John Olson, author of SHADE.
This book was also reviewed by the CSFF Blog Tour in November of last year, and you can read my comments here.
The interesting thing is that if John had won the Christy award, it would have been an amazing triumph for him. Why? Because it took ten years for the Christian speculative fiction market to open up enough for him to get this book published.
A win at the Christy would have been the ultimate vindication for writing what he was passionate about despite the current state of speculative fiction with Christian publishers.
But even becoming a FINALIST is absolutely great. And from this, all of us authors should take heart who, against all odds, write Christian Fantasy, Science Fiction, Supernatural, or just plain odd stuff.
It can be done! We can get published! Keep working. Keep making your characters, your prose, dialogue, and plots the best they can be. Keep writing!
Also, a heartfelt congrats to Andrew Peterson for his FINALIST status in the Young Adult category. Way to go, Andrew!