Everything's alive with anticipation this afternoon cause everyone's getting ready for tonight's big show: the RITA awards. The RITAs are the Oscars of the romance industry, and tonight, published RWA members in all categories will be vying for top honors.
Inspirational romance author Dee Gist (right, with myself and Bethany House Fiction Acquisitions Editor, David R. Long) is up for Best Inspirational Romance for her novel "Deep In the Heart of Trouble." The book's a wow and a style of Inspy some have termed "edgy," because books like DITHOT don't fit the old-school style of what used to be called "Christian" romance.
Back in the day, Christian romance was a bit of an evangelical tool, so the arc of conversion of some character in the book -- and a big 'ol altar call -- was more important than the love story. While the old school Christian romances need to be well respected because they so influenced the sub-genre -- and so many still love the style -- the books don't "work" for all readers today who enjoy romances with Christian themes and elements. Enter Dee Gist with novels that allow for folks to be both believers and individuals with the needs to love, be loved, and express those needs in all the ways in which Dee believes God gifted humans. Dee also often explores complex issues -- especially ones important to young people who are Christians -- in ways that allow readers to make thoughtful choices, and grow deeper in faith.
All eyes will be on Dee and the rest of tonight's RITA nominees, and I'll report back later with news of the winners and, most important -- who had the cutest shoes!
Are you a fan of Inspy? What kinds do you like best?