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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

Book Awardsó A Great Antidote to Depression

By Fay Sampson ~ May 14, 2013

A week or two ago I was delighted to get an email from my editor at Lion telling me that The Hunted Hare had won the Christians Together Resources award for Fiction Book of the Year. I’d had fun researching it in Wales and writing it, but it was extra good to know that others had enjoyed it too.

 
My enthusiasm was slightly dampened by the realisation that this is one of those awards which is given to the publisher, not the author. Indeed, the CRT website announcing the longlist gave only the titles and the publishers, without mentioning the writers. That seemed a little unfair, after all the months of work we put into them. Still, I am glad for my book and for Lion Hudson. And now the news is beginning to filter out on to other websites, which is encouraging.
 
The Hunted Hare was published last year by Monarch, an imprint of Lion Hudson, but the award makes a wonderful start for the new imprint Lion Fiction, launched in March. I am hoping that it will give an extra boost to its sequel, Death on Lindisfarne, published under that new imprint in April.
 
Lion Hudson did particularly well in the awards. Besides Fiction, they won Publisher of the Year, Biography of the Year, Children’s Book of the Year and Youth Book of the Year. I’m proud to be associated with them. The awards were only started in 2010 and Lion have scooped Publisher of the Year on all four occasions.
 
For the most part, we beaver away on our own writing books. I start with a flush of enthusiasm for the new idea. Then, mid-book, I wonder if anyone is ever going to want to read it. The first shining vision I had never fully translates itself to the page. But there comes a point when the end is suddenly in sight. The momentum gathers, and then I’m writing frantically to the finish. There are a few days of euphoria, when I can’t quite lose that energy. Then perhaps a dip into post-natal depression. A sense of loss.
 
The only cure is to start writing another book.
 
But we really do need that encouragement from others. The supportive, though helpfully critical, response from my Christian Writers group when I read them a sample. The eagerly awaited reviews. A good review is great, but even a lukewarm one is better than the book just vanishing without a trace. The response from readers. And, yes, the occasional shortlisting, or even award, to convince me it’s not all for nothing.
 
Have a think. What could you to do to encourage the author of a book you’ve just enjoyed?

Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

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Congratulations, Fay! yes, the writing life certainly has its ups and downs--but winning a major award is definitely one of the ups! Well deserved.
-Donna, May 14, 2013

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