The Christy Awards banquet was emceed by New York Times best-selling author and Christy Award-winner, Liz Curtis Higgs–who is a funny, funny woman! She had done her homework, too–she had poked through every single finalists’ website to glean interesting pieces of info about them. Impressive em-ceeing!


The keynote speaker was screenwriter, director, and New York Times best-selling author, Randall Wallace.

Randall Wallace was an ideal choice for a speaker–funny (as you’ll see in the next paragraph and pix), charming, engaging, relevant, touching. It reminded me to be prayerful for Christians in the entertainment industry–they are there. 

So here’s a sampling of Randall’s self-deprecating humor:

I was made a producer of a television show that was in trouble – the actors was in trouble and the unhappiest of all was Miss Universe. She wasn’t given much to do in this show. I went to meet her, and my plan was to walk out to the set and put on my sunglasses and say “Hi, I’m Randall Wallace” and snap the sunglasses off, then snap them back on with the hope she would be impressed. I walked up to Miss Universe and said, “I know you’re unhappy, but I’ll fix things. When you have a problem, you come to me and I will take care of it.” Then I snapped my sunglasses back on – but I had been fidgeting wtih my tie and put my tie on over my glasses! So much for impressing Miss Universe.

Randall Wallace at his best.

Randall Wallace shared some stories about the filming of Braveheart–this one was side-splitting funny! 

I was standing in the middle of a battlefield – with about 3,000 Irishmen. They were Irish and could have a party anywhere – and suddenly Mel Gibson with his face painted blue and all 3000 men gasped. It was the first day I’d seen anything I’d written being made into a movie, and Mel Gibson transformed into William Wallace and Mel said the words I wrote: “Sons of Scotland, I’m William Wallace and I see before me free men – but what will you do with your freedom? Will you fight?” 

What was supposed to happen was one of the men was supposed to say “No!” and then Mel was supposed to say more, and finish the speech. 

However – on the first day, with 7 cameras rolling, he said his line…and when he said, “What will do with your freedom? Will you fight?” 

And all 3,000 Irish men said…”YEAH! BRING IT ON!”  


They forgot that what we were doing was called a MOVIE! And what’s so funny – those Irish extras had played as the ENGLlSH army. 

But that’s the power of Believing. And when I looks at authors, I see people who believe.

After dinner, after Randall Wallace’s speech, came the awards. Each finalist had already been introduced and given a gigantic and very heavy medal. By the end of the night, everyone was drooping under its weight! Then, as the winners were announced category by category, the first line of the winning novel was read. You could hear a pin drop, then big gasps when the author recognized his/her words. Sweet!

The author of amazing historical novels, Lynn Austin, with Christy Award Executive Director Donna Kehoe. I never want to be up against Lynn Austin in a Christy…she just won her sixth or seventh Christy! 

 Just a note…I snagged an advance reader copy of  Lynn Austin’s newest book, “Wonderland Creek,” (Bethany House) and I can’t put it down! Put it on your October reading list.

I met Beverly Lewis and her husband, Dave, a couple of times over the few days. Such a lovely, kind couple.

Tamera Alexander is a new favorite of mine–we had coffee the next morning. Loved her! 

Ted (Gothic) Dekker

Oh..this is me!

Remember the tragic blisters story from yesterday? My niece, Heather, was visiting on Sunday and I showed her my darling, evil shoes. Did I happen to mention that they had a matching red purse, too? Heather gave my shoes and purse a look, then tossed a glance at my poor blisters. “Totally worth it,” she said.

So true!

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