I was asked by my sweet friend Casey to write about being a Genesis finalist, so here goes.
I finaled in the Genesis contest! I’m thrilled. I’m ecstatic. I’m excited. I’m…a little worried that the dress I bought for the banquet won’t fit by the time we make it to the conference because I’m once again in the middle of intense book writing. And for me, new book writing and Milk Dud consumption go hand in hand.
It’s a sad, sad habit I just can’t (don’t want to) break.
Anyway, when I got the call that my book finaled this year, I freaked out. Eventually. An hour later. Once I finally listened to the message that my category coordinator was so kind to leave me. I still can’t believe I ignored her call. But in my defense, I didn’t recognize her number. And that day I was neck deep in broken appliances and surrounded by the handy men who’d arrived at my house to fix them. But let me back up a bit.
So, earlier that week—Monday, May 29 to be precise—after waking up early because “Today is the Day!!”—I opened my email and read a message from the contest people saying the results wouldn’t be announced until later in the week. My excitement instantly deflated like a leaky balloon. But I quickly got over it, because I had a birthday party to plan. But then later that day my dryer broke. And then early the next morning my computer got a virus and totally shut down. And then later that afternoon I spilled an entire two-liter of Diet Coke on the kitchen floor, but that has nothing to do with this story. So anyway, two days later the dryer man came and the computer man came and I had completely forgotten about the contest.
|Credit: Free Digital Photos|
But then mid-way through all kinds of tools flying around my house while smart men fixed things, my phone rang. And like an idiot, I ignored it. But a little while later I listened to the message and got the news that my book had advanced to the finals. And I screamed at my voice mail because I was excited, and because making the finals is hard. Last year one of my books made it to the semi-finals, but that was all. Didn’t make it further. So this year I flipped out. And I high-fived my kids, who had the decency to look at least somewhat interested for a couple seconds. And I tried to high-five the fix-it men, but they were not at all interested. They just thought I was strange. But whatever.
Anyway, I finaled in the Genesis contest! I’m thrilled. I’m excited. I’m happy. But mainly…
I have no idea what this means.
I mean, I know it’s a good thing. I know it’s a great thing. I know that I’m loving the idea. But I’m also clear-headed: I know it won’t guarantee publication. I know it won’t thrust me into the ranks of Stephenie Meyer overnight. On the other hand, I think it might help my book garner a little attention that it might not have received otherwise. Right?
On the other other hand, it might not be the kind of attention I want. Because what if I win? What if I have to walk across the room in front of all those people? And what if I fall trying to get onstage…because my dress is too tight?
Forget world peace. These are things that keep me awake at night.
Amy Matayo is a graduate of John Brown University and holds a degree in Journalism. After
graduation, she went to work at DaySpring Cards—a division of Hallmark—where she worked
for seven years as Senior Writer and Editor. Her newest book finaled in the 2012 ACFW Genesis
contest. Two of her other books semi-finaled in the 2011 Genesis.
As the mother of four children with a husband submersed in political life, Amy has very
little free time. She prefers to spend that time enjoying intellectual pursuits such as: watching
television with her feet propped up, watching movies with a bucket of popcorn, and watching her
laundry pile high—with no desire to do anything about it.
She can be found on her blog, www.amymatayo.blogspot.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.