Friday, August 3, 2012

I've Finaled in the Genesis!! ((now what??))

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.


About Amy...

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,, and on Facebook and Twitter.


Unknown said...

Oh fun! Congratulations on finaling and may your dress fit no matter what! :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Awesome post Amy!! You will do brilliantly if you win, but I will pray for a n0-trip walk to the podium! lol

I must say, from your bio we could be related!

Lindsay Harrel said...

Hey, if you fell, at least you'd be memorable, right? And maybe people would feel sorry for you and go buy your book when it's published. :)

Congrats on the final!

Joanne Sher said...

TOTALLY fun post! And congrats :)

Jeanne T said...

Amy! Congratulations on finaling! I loved your post today. For the record, about once a week, my honey and I pop some popcorn from scratch and put in a movie. We race to see who gets to eat the most popcorn and then we cuddle through the rest of the movie. :)

I'll be praying for you as I watch you walk across that stage (I'm assuming, of course, that you're going to win). It will be fun to see what God does with you and your writing as a result of your final in Genesis. :)

Amy Matayo said...

Hi everyone! I was so excited to be asked to post on the Writer's Alley. Thanks for your sweet comments!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Congratulations, Amy! What a fun post! Wishing you all the best in the finals! And I totally understand your terror in walking up to accept the award!


Gabrielle Meyer said...

Amy! Your words always brighten my day and put a smile on my face. Your stories have so much character and charm - I feel like I'm sitting in your living room, popcorn bowl in lap, listening to you tell them - who needs a movie to watch? :)

I'm so happy I'll be at the awards ceremony! Good luck!! Your dress, and you, will look stunning! Speaking of dresses, I need to go get one!!

Casey said...

MELISSA, isn't that the fear of every woman? Her dress not fitting? I don't believe Amy has a worry though. ;)

SHERRINDA, you and Amy should definitely meet! You both have sort of a twisted sense of humor (and I say that in the nicest way. ;)

Casey said...

LINDSAY, I have a feeling it's a "when" she's published not "if". Still trying to talk her into letting me read a little bit of her story. :)

JOANNE, I knew Amy would make a splash in the Alley!!

Casey said...

JEANNE, ah, I love that! What great memories. What kind of movies do you like to watch best?

AMY, thanks for posting today, welcome to the Alley!!

Casey said...

SUSAN, now she just needs to write her acceptance speech. ;)

GABRIELLE, ah! You've read her stories? I'm so jealous.

Jeanne T said...

Casey, I like funny, but I like anhything where there's a great character arc. My husband will even watch chick flicks with me, but I try to select movies he'll enjoy too. Would believe he actually chose "The Importance of Being Earnest" for us to watch one night? :)

We watch most movies that are clean (language and sexual content), not too violent and with some substance, any genre. :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Amy, I love your voice! Congrats again on you final. That walking across the stage thing is a scary thought, but I know if you're up there you'll do great!

Nancy Kimball said...

Amy, I enjoyed this post and can relate. I totally freaked when I saw the e-mail I'd finaled in Historical fiction. I'd bought a lovely gown off the clearance rack in February I didn't get to wear for Valentine's Day so I already had my dress, which was nice. I hope both of us have the opportunity to be glad we didn't fall on stage. ;-)

Pepper said...

Congrats, Amy!!!
And kudos to you in the life that you live while you try to write!

It will be so exciting to cheer for you in person in September!

Casey said...

JEANNE, good for your hubby! ;-) It's always great to find a good movie, regardless of genre that almost leaves you a little bit changed. Kind of like a good book. ;)

CINDY, do you have someone to give your acceptance speech, should you win? You're without excuses!

Casey said...

NANCY, congratulations to YOU on your final!! Woo-hoo!!!

PEPPER, she'll have a good cheering force along with our Cindy!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Congratulations, Amy!
Such a fun post:)
Can't wait to see you in September.

Amy Matayo said...

Thank you so much for these nice comments! Casey--you can read my writings any time you want to! You'll just have to excuse things like annoying typos, bad grammar, dumb plot lines... :)

Gabrielle Meyer said...

No, not her fiction - her real life stories! Although I'm counting the days until I can read her fiction, too! :)

Charity Tinnin said...

I'll be praying that dress fits (I'm sure it will) and that you don't fall (again, I think you'll be fine). I'm so excited to be cheering you, Amanda, and Kelli on that night :)

Casey said...

MARY, you and me both! Amy and I just missed meeting last year. :)

AMY, ah, okay!! I'm holding you to that. ;)

Casey said...

GABRIELLE, I think some of Amy's stories tend to be stranger than fiction. ;)

CHARITY, a cheering (and praying) force is uber-important!