2012 Full ACFW Awards Gala Now Online!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

If you missed the live stream of the 2012 ACFW Awards Gala, you can watch it here.

The awards given were:
Agent of the Year
Editor of the Year
Mentor of the Year
Member Service Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Carol Award
The Genesis Award

The Genesis Contest is around minute 26. You can see me around minute 33 accepting the Genesis Award for Historical Romance. I'm still over the moon!

Since the conference, I've been busy writing my second book. I'm averaging about 2000 words a day and I'm really happy about that! I'm so excited about my work in progress, and for everything ahead.

“It’s a choice, writing is. One that belongs to you and me. We get to choose it (or not) every single day. So whether or not the world hears your message — whether you leave the impact you were born to make — is entirely up to you.”
― Jeff Goins

“Several factors besides skill are more significant in professional writers than in most amateurs. One is love of the surface level of language: the sound of it; the taste of it on the tongue; what it can be made to do in virtuosic passages that exist only for their own sake, like cadenzas in baroque concerti. Writers in love with their tools are not unlike surgeons obsessed with their scalpels, or Arctic sled racers who sleep among their dogs even when they don't have to”
― Alice W. Flaherty

Musings of a Quotable Sort

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's been a busy week. Amidst daily activities, some amount of tomfooley, meeting with a new critique group, and a visit to a pumpkin patch, I've been throwing myself into my new story. 1885 Edinburgh is calling, even in my dreams now. It gets this way for writers. The sound of the Scottish rain and the feel of the wind are becoming natural. The beauty of the landscape, and the poverty of the people from the "wrong" side are becoming my everyday. Feya and Alasdair are saying surprising things, breaking my heart, and luring me in.

That said, here are some quotes that have inspired me this week as I've been writing.

"Relying on God has to start all over everyday, as if nothing has yet been done." --C.S.Lewis

"God will one day hold us each accountable for all the things He created for us to enjoy, but we refused to do so." --Rabbanic Saying 

"The soul hardly ever realizes it, but whether he is a believer or not, his loneliness is really a homesickness for God." 
--Hubert van Zeller

"Failure is not an event, but rather a judgment about an event.  Failure is not something that happens to us or a label we attach to things. It is a way we think about outcomes." 
--John Ortberg

"If you believe in a God who controls the big things, you have to believe in a God who controls the little things. It is we, of course, to whom things look "little" or "big."
 --Elisabeth Elliot

"You called, you cried, you shattered my deafness, you sparkled, you blazed, you drove away my blindness, you shed your fragrance, and I drew in my breath, and I pant for you."
--Saint Augustine

"He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust. He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is." --A.Z. Tozer

"Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will." 
--A.W. Tozer

"Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight." 
--Benjamin Franklin

Do any of these quotes speak to you? In what way? Do you have some quotes that have inspired you week?

What Dreams May Come

Sunday, September 23, 2012

With my literary agent, Rachelle Gardner. 

Last night at the ACFW awards ceremony my name was called for the historical romance category of the Genesis. I WON!!! That still hasn't sunk in 100%. It was one of those moments you imagine a million times but are sure isn't going to happen. You want it to happen so much but you're afraid to hope.

As I made my way to the stage all I could think was Really, God? You chose me? In my mind He smiled in that way He always does just for me. I got the impression of an answer. It was, Yes. REALLY, Brandy. I think He also gave me a laugh that was full of joy. He's the best at keeping secrets and is a fan of the "big reveal." Speaking from experience here. :-)

Earlier that day I was sick with nerves. I couldn't eat. I couldn't concentrate. I actually had to go up to my room and give myself a firm talking to. My friend, Carla Laureano, came up and sat with me for a little while. I call her Metro because she's so stylishly modern, as I could never be. You should see the height of the heels that girl can wear! She used to be a professional ballet dancer, so I suppose she can handle the pain. She calls me Vintage, and rightfully so. We're good at talking each other off the ledge in a pinch. Since the announcement in May that we were Genesis finalists there have been a lot of late night Facebook chats between the two of us. We talk about the publishing industry. And life. And lots of whatever.

You know what the best moment was last night? After I stepped off the stage and had my picture taken, Rachelle Gardner jumped up in a crowd of 800 people and came running toward me. She gave me the biggest hug and said, "I'm so proud of you, Brandy." Repeat: Rachelle Gardner said that she was proud of ME. Talk about a surreal moment. I think she may have actually kept me from collapsing onto the floor.

 I have watched Rachelle for three years and I can honestly tell you that she is always a woman of integrity. She's strong. And smart. Passionate about the dreams of her clients and fights hard for them. Besides that, she's friendly and always makes me feel welcome. If you were watching the live stream last night there's a reason you kept hearing her clients mentioning her name.

So, here I am sitting in the hotel room in Dallas thinking about all this. Tomorrow I fly home to Colorado and everything that is to come. I'm excited. And awed. And thankful. Mostly, I'm thinking about all my writing friends in all the various stages of publishing. You are all so brave and have tons of heart. I'm so proud to be in such honorable company. Don't ever doubt your gifts or minimize the importance of your stories. You matter. And your calling as a storyteller is a high one. Don't be afraid to write vulnerable. That's where the magic happens. I'm in awe that I got to experience some of that magic last night.

2012 Genesis Contest Press Release

Thursday, July 19, 2012



JULY 2012Colorado Springs, CO writer, Brandy Vallance, received the honor of finalist in the prestigious Genesis Contest, American Christian Fiction Writers' respected contest for unpublished writers. Since its inception in 2002, the Genesis contest (originally named the Noble Theme) has been the leading fiction contest for unpublished Christian writers. “The Genesis is the premier contest in the Christian Booksellers Association for the unpublished. It's THE place to get noticed by a publisher.” – Colleen Coble, CEO of ACFW. 

With over 690 entries in this year’s contest, making the finalist list is a noteworthy accomplishment. Brandy is a finalist in the Historical Romance category. Winners will be announced on September 22, 2012, during the awards gala at the ACFW Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas.

ACFW notes that over the life of the contest, over seventy Genesis finalists have gone on to publication. Among them are authors who are now multi-published, and whose books appear consistently on CBA and ECPA bestseller lists, whose published works receive recognition through readers' choice and industry-awarded honors. Many editors and agents speak highly of the role of the Genesis Contest in helping launch author careers.

"Writers looking to break into publishing need every advantage they can gain in the pursuit of a contract. When an agent sees 'Genesis finalist' or 'Genesis winner' in a writer's proposal, it means something: This is a manuscript that deserves a closer look." – Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary Agency

“ACFW's Genesis contest is a springboard to a writing career in Christian fiction and winning the Genesis award against such an impressive pool of talented writers is, in my opinion, a great accomplishment. I can't think of a better way to jumpstart a writing career than to be a finalist in the Genesis contest.” – Julie Gwinn, Fiction Manager, B&H Publishing Group

"We've watched the Genesis Contest grow from being a start-up operation to the well-respected event it is today. We think the Genesis contest is a good place for beginning authors to dive in and get started." – Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary Agency

For More Information Contact: Pam Meyers, ACFW Genesis Contest Coordinator                       

Writing News

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm a finalist in the 2012 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest! I'm over the moon! You can see my name here under the historical romance category: ACFW.

I am so honored to be named among these fine writers. And, I am having such a wonderful time getting to know some of them on Facebook. Some exciting things are happening in our conversations. I've definitely found a few kindred spirits!

I'll be at the ACFW Conference in Dallas, TX from September 20-23rd where the winners will be announced. There may be a live stream so perhaps some of you can tune in when the time comes.

In the meantime, here's what I'll be doing:

*Hopefully signing a contract with an agent soon.

*Finding an elegant formal dress for the awards ceremony.

*Getting my ducks in a row for meetings at the conference.

*Getting my daughter ready for kindergarten. !!!

*Wishing my son a happy 13th birthday. Where has the time gone?

*Writing my second book, a historical romance set in 1885 Edinburgh, Scotland.

What's it about? Here's the log line: When a disenchanted dreamer meets Robert Louis Stevenson on the eve of the creation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a question must be answered that will push her beyond the boundaries of belief.

I'm very excited about this story. It's taking me to some very interesting places and stretching me in many ways. There's an anonymous quote: "We write best what we need most to understand." I've been thinking about some of this subject matter for quite a while now. I know this story is going to take a lot of vulnerability and brutal honesty from me. I'm definitely going to be changed on the other side.

Until then, dear readers and friends . . . *lifts tea cup to you* Here's to the journey.