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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011
So much of writing a story is having the confidence to keep going even though voices in your head tell you to stop. No one will read this. No one will care. Who are you to write anything? Move on to something else.

Those voices were strong when I began writing Almost Heaven. After all, the main character is not a celebrity. He’s a loner. An almost invisible guy you wouldn’t be able to pick out of his high school reunion picture. He lived his whole life in West Virginia. In a holler. Unknown by most of the world.

Except there was something compelling about Billy Allman. From the moment I heard his story and began to piece together the plot of his life, I was captivated. Every day I went to my closet (literally) to find out what was going on in his life. Billy was a real man who died two years ago. His story forms the backbone of the book.

The other compelling angle the story took was the perspective of the angel sent to aid Billy and watch his every move. I don’t believe everyone has a guardian angel. At least, I’m not sure everyone has one. But I do know that God uses the angelic realm in our realm, and to be able to pull back the curtain a bit also brought me to the computer and encouraged me about my own life.

Yesterday I heard that the book won an award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. The other novels nominated were fantastic. There are no “losers” on that list. But when I heard Almost Heaven was chosen, my first thought was, “Yay Billy.” And my second thought was, “Thank you, God.” He delights in choosing simple, humble things. He has a plan and purpose for every story, yours and mine included.

Maybe you feel like Billy today. I’m not sure if he ever won any award in school or in life. Was he patrol of the year? Did he win at the spelling bee? I don’t know. But I do know that because of his relationship to God through Jesus, he was guided and sometimes dragged for God’s glory. And that makes a compelling story for any life.

Yay for Billy. Thanks to God.


To view the complete list of 2011 Christian Book Award winners and finalists, click here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

After reading this book, it is a thrill for me to know that it, via Billy through you has received this award. It is deserving of an award. It's a book I will keep and cherish! Thank you for writing it and for loving Jesus! This makes me happy too.
Mary G. - Muncie, IN

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news!!!! This is a huge accomplishment and I celebrate with you. Your friend who won a Participation Ribbon in third grade, Phil Callaway

Carol said...

The book is so good. We all have a "Billy" in us in one form or fashion. The fears in each of us that are created by our life experiences - even the good experiences sometimes - are noticed by, battled over and used by our Lord when we have a heart that is turned toward Him. Billy is a good example of this very thing. Thanks for listening to the Lord when you wrote this Chris!