Join Dee’s Circle for giveaways, videos and VIP privileges
June 27, 2010
Christy Award Winners
I'm in St. Louis for the Christy Award presentation. Bride in the Bargain was nominated for Best Historical Romance along with books by Tamera Alexander and Julie Klassen. Julie's book, The Silent Governess, won and I honestly am so incredibly thrilled.
Not only because Julie is such a sweetheart, but also because she's my editor at Bethany House! Yup. She's been my editor since my very first book in 2005 and she is wonderful. Tammy and I have both won Christy awards and though Julie has been nominated before, this was her first win. So when they announced her name last night I was ecstatic.
And if that weren't enough, I can now say that both my editors at Bethany House--Julie Klassen and David Long--are Christy Award winners. Dave won the Christy in 2002 for Ezekiel’s Shadow (Best First Novel). And now Julie has won for The Silent Governess (Best Historical Romance). I'd venture to say there aren't too many authors who can make that claim!!
So big-time congrats to Julie and all the other winners. Here they are, in the order in which they were announced:
Best Contemporary Romance:
Best Contemporary Series:
Best Contemporary Stand Alone:
Best First Novel:
Best Historical (Bethany House):
Best Historical Romance, Julie Klassen, The Silent Governess (Bethany House):
Best Young Adult:
Congrats to all the winners! It was a great evening. If you haven't had a chance to pick up any of these books, I'd give them a try. These are the cream of the crop!
Have you seen the new mini-documentary about what Victorian women wore under their dresses? Well, we get to meet the writer, director and producer of the film!
Richard Alvarez is a California based screenwriter and filmmaker with more than thirty years of professional experience in radio, television and film. When he's not on a set shooting, directing or stunt arranging, he's in front of the computer editing or writing screenplays.
I sat down with him yesterday and this is what he had to say ...
This is an amazing mini-documentary, Richard! I noticed many of the shots were candid shots. Are costumes a big part of your life?
I’ve been in media production for more than thirty years. A lot of that was producing period shows for festivals and theme parks across the country. So basically I have a garage full of theatrical and antique garments from various eras. The shot of the Musketeers [in the video] was from a stunt show I produced – my wife made all the doublets from period patterns. A few of the shots in the video depict friends and family in actual Victorian Garments that we have collected over the years.
That's so neat. I'd love to have a garage full of costumes! You wrote, directed and produced the above mini-documentary. What are some of the most unusual pieces you've done in the past?
I produced an award winning documentary about life on the road as a jouster, entitled American Jouster. www.americanjouster.com. It aired on the PBS series “Video I” here in the San Francisco Bay area. Probably the most unusual interview I’ve shot, was with his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. That was a real treat, and a moment I will cherish forever.
Wow. That is really special. I understand you also did the voiceover in the video. With such a rich and versatile voice, this obviously is a huge asset. Have you ever done commercials or theatre?
I started my professional career in television as a cameraman, but was asked to do some occasional voiceover work when the station talent wasn’t available. Later, I moved into radio as an announcer for the #1 station in Houston, Texas in the late 70’s early 80’s. I can't recall how many radio commercials I've done. I’ve performed in theater and festival settings as well. I formed my production company Pierrot Productions, in 1980 and have been freelancing at every aspect of the media since then.
You have other talents as well and graciously choreographed the fight scene at the end of A Bride Most Begrudging between Drew and an Indian. It is still one of my most favorite scenes out of all my books. Tell us how it is you knew how to choreograph that scene?
I’ve always been interested in martial arts and stage combat. I trained as a fencer in college and went on to become a Classical Fencing Master. As an actor and fight choreographer, I've directed and performed everything from fist fights, to sword fights to gun fights and mounted combat. I approach a fight scene the way I approach writing dialogue. Because essentially – all fight scenes are basically a physical manifestation of internal dialogue. And just like any other scene, if it’s going to work well it has to advance the plot and illuminate character.
So when I write or choreograph, I ask the writer or director “What sort of person is fighting?” – Are they experienced or a novice? Frightened or emboldened by righteous indignation? What’s their motivation? This illuminates character. Then I ask “What has to happen to advance the plot?” Is there some physical outcome that must be achieved? Does someone have to be injured in a particular way? Some piece of information revealed that moves the story forward? Given this information I ‘look around’ in the setting, and I put myself in the mind of each of the characters, and imagine what they would do in that situation.
Oh my goodness! No wonder I love that scene. :) So, what projects are you working on currently?
I’ve just finished my second screenplay this year. This was the first time writing with my son, which was a great experience, and we’re shopping it now to see if we can get some interest. I’m also going to be getting on horse once again in August and September to direct and perform medieval jousts for a company in Pennsylvania. So I'll be back in armor once more.
That is such a way-cool job! So, your staging and presentation talents, combined with your own artistic abilities as an actor and a writer, put you in a unique position to create videos like this. If someone wanted to contact you for help with a project, how can they reach you?
They can reach me by writing to PierrotFilms at Yahoo dot com.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Richard!
Is that so crazy fun? If you'd like to ask Richard a question, he will try and pop in this week as his schedule allows. Don't miss this opportunity to visit with a real live filmmaker!! :)
Over Memorial Day, Greg took me and our daughter (who is home from college) to Fredericksburg, Texas. I have so much to tell you about our trip that I'm going to have to break it up over a two or three posts. So, we're going to be stuck on Memorial Day for a while. :)
Fredericksburg is in the heart of the Texas hill country. When we were driving in we saw sign after sign for fresh peaches. Clearly, we were in Peach Country.
So while we were there we visited a peach orchard and picked our own peaches. We were going to pick some blackberries, too, but their quota for the day had already been picked. (I was really sad about this. I loooooove blackberries.)
Anyhoo, we were told how to tell if a peach was ripe and ready for picking. One thing I didn't know was that the red part of the peach is its "sunburn." The farmers said peaches get sunburned just like we do and that's not what makes a peach ripe. The thing to watch for is a peach with any green on it. If it has green instead of yellow, it's not ready to be picked.
I tell you, though, what they were calling green, I would've called yellow. So I did it by touch. If it was soft instead of hard, I picked. We ended up with ten pounds of peaches! Ohmigosh, they were so good and juicy.
When we got back to Houston I made some homemade peach cobbler. Yum! We still had tons of peaches left, so I Googled recipes that included fresh peaches and we've been trying all sorts of things ... peachy fruit salad, smoothies, parfaits, and all kinds of stuff.
What about you? Have you ever picked fruit right off the tree before?
We had our annual Crawfish Boil a couple of weeks ago. Lots of family, friends and fun. It is an all day affair starting around noon and finishing up at night. Of course, Greg starts preparing a week in advance. And our nephew, Daniel, always comes early and stays late to help Greg. This year both he and our oldest son showed up a whole day early. It was so wonderful to have all that help!
We had family come in from as far as Alabama and friends come over from as close as next door. We had a hot and humid day, but it started to cool off around 5:00 (by "cool off" I mean it dipped down into the 80s). One of the highlights of the party was a cake that our daughter-in-law's mother brought. A lab tech she works with at the hospital makes cakes for fun.
You would not believe this cake. It was so pretty I hated to cut it! Everything on it was edible. And the expression on the faces of the crawfish were priceless. I've posted more pics of the cake and the boil in my scrapbook. Click on the Circle of Friends heart at the top of the page, then click on the scrapbook.