All I can say is “Thank you”, Lord. And Merci!
I had no thought of receiving this honor, especially since I was entered in the category of Literary Fiction with very talented authors from the general market–not the inspirational market. But on Saturday, as I lay sick in bed at a lodge in Western Kentucky (where I was supposed to be enjoying a family reunion), the news flashed on my phone: The Promised Land won the Georgia Author of the Year (GAYA) Finalist Award for Literary Fiction. I was shocked.
Even sweeter was reading the judge’s comments about the novel:
Finalist: The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser
Elizabeth Musser’s The Promised Land revolves around three characters who, facing a metaphorical crossroads in their lives, venture toward a literal one along the Camino pilgrimage route in France: Abbie, dealing with the break-up of her marriage; her son Bobby, discovering his artistic ambition while on a gap year; and Caroline, coping with the disappearance of her best friend. In straightforward but agile narration, the novel explores how pathways, between strangers, between generations, can sometimes converge in unlikely places. The result is a quiet marvel of grace. Musser draws subtle connections between the characters’ lives in Atlanta and what they find in France—the Beltline as its own sort of French Camino—and uses those connections to weave a beautiful, heartfelt portrait of what it means to be a Georgian, a Southerner, an American, and, most importantly, a person in the world.
The week before I learned that The Promised Land won third place in the Selah Awards at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. Again I was so honored.
And earlier this year, The Swan House won the GOLD Illumination Award for Enduring Light Fiction.
ENDURING LIGHT CHRISTIAN FICTION
The Swan House
by Elizabeth Musser
Lord, You know that we authors are fragile creatures, often doubting that our words have any relevance to the big old world out there. So it is always a huge encouragement to receive an award or or a positive review or a glowing letter from a reader. I’ve said it at least a hundred times across the years, Lord, but once again, every time I hear good news about my novels, it’s like receiving Your gentle, delightful hug.
And on all days, good and bad ones, I try to say ‘thank You, Lord,’ for allowing me to write stories of brokenness and healing, faith and hope, as a way to celebrate my love for You. Sometimes that is all it takes to send me back to my desk, heart filled with gratitude, to pen my next novel.
You will make known to me the way of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16: 11
ELIZABETH MUSSER writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her blog.