First of all, I spent the last four hours or so reading all your reviews, and I’ve cried about four times. That’s partly because I’m a crybaby, and partly because I prayed almost every day of the writing of The Monster in the Hollows that the book would connect with you, Dear Readers. What a joy it is to see that, in at least your cases, it did.
Second of all, it was HARD to choose a winner. There were so many well-written and thoughtful posts to read, and even after I narrowed it down to five reviews it wasn’t easy. At the bottom of this post you’ll find a list of all the blogs, and I encourage you to visit them when you get a chance. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for telling your friends and relations about these books.
Now. On to business. The winner of the blog contest is eleven-year-old Will Silander, whose stop-motion Lego trailer pushed me over the edge. My sons went through a phase of making videos like that so I can attest to how much time it takes to make one. I loved it. Check it out:
Congratulations, Will! Send an email to email@example.com and let me know what you want me to draw. I’m no Justin Gerard, so I can’t make any promises, but I think we’ll come up with something pretty cool.
Second place goes to Jim Hamilton. Jim and his kids were among the first to review the book, and have been enthusiastic about the story since they discovered it. In fact, they emailed me an uber-cute video earlier this year in which they pleaded with me to send them an advance copy. Thanks, Hamiltons! Will gets the original, but I’ll send you and the other runners-up a signed copy of the drawing.
Here are the rest, in no particular order:
Nathaniel Miller (good writing, Nathaniel)
Carrie Luke (with a GREAT picture of her daughter reading in a treehouse)
Jeanne ? (includes hilarious “happy dance” pictures)
Joe Thacker (kudos for the copious Scripture references, Joe)
Sarah Sawyer (if Galadriel blogged)
Christina Szrama (complete with a reading guide–thanks, Christina!)
Brian Wilhorn (honored, especially in light of how many books you read)
Hot Dogs and Marmalade (an open letter that cracked me up)
Justin Hase (wow. Thank you, Justin)
Trish Hixon (great pictures!)
Amateur (you must be a librarian)
Honey and Locusts (“pogonophobia” = funny)
Abiding in Grace (thanks, Sarah)
Marshall Benbow (well done, Marshall)
The Pickwick Portfolio (more great pictures)
Dan K (movies would be fine and very fine)
Moriah Potter (thanks, Moriah)
Loren Warnemuende (includes a great list. I like lists)
Heather Rose (the Wingfeathers get their own page!)
Sarah Newell (I plan to steal the “book date” idea)
Jim Daniels (hilarious picture, Jim)
Mark Collins (well-written, thoughtful review)
Again, this was really difficult, you guys. I wish I had time to draw you all pictures. Thanks so much for writing these.
Next up: the Amazon review contest. This was much more random, since there were so many reviews.
I chose Kelly Fulcher, because she mentioned Where the Red Fern Grows, Narnia, AND orcs in one review. To be included in that company was a fine compliment. Well, not the orcs, but you know what I mean. Kelly, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you’d like me to draw. There was a tie for second place at Amazon with reviews by Jeri Tanner (for describing the books as “heinously awesome” and saying that a picture of Artham on her wall would be “trollin”, a word I’m troubled that I’m too old to know) and Nora Wait. Kelly and Nora, you’ll each get a signed copy of the picture.
Thank you all so much! Hopefully the contest and your reviews spread the word about the books. I couldn’t do this without you.