Now, this is a week to remember!
It started out with two incredible days at the International Christian Retail Show. I was able to meet Mr. Strang himself, the founder of Charisma Media and to see my mockup of “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon” at the Charisma Booth. I met Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee, Charles Martin, Os Guinness to drop a few BIG names as well as singer and songwriter Matthew West. I learned that the future of publishing, at least in Christian retail outlets, is NOT dismal but is HOPEFUL. And, of course, the BIG development is the one I cannot speak of yet that has to do with future books by yours truly. Here is a picture with my Charisma editor, Deborah at the ICRS:
Saturday, my good friend and financial adviser, Kevin Murphy of Ameriprise held a brunch featuring my book, “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye”. Sherry and I were expecting maybe a dozen people to show up but the room was full with around 50 attendees! I was stunned.
Kevin asked me to speak and answer questions. I talked about the development of my writing career to date and the process of writing “The 13th Demon”. And, I brought along a copy of that old reliable book I had co-authored, “Conquering Depression”. I was stunned when over half of those there wanted a copy of that book! Kevin took names and agreed to purchase copies and send them to those who signed up. I am continually amazed at how this little known book continues to change lives everywhere I go!
Last Sunday, Mark Sutton and I spent six hours working on a plan for a future upgrade to “Conquering Depression” and the developments of the week at the ICRS impacted the future of that book!
And, just now, I finished putting the final touches and making the final changes to the galley proofs of “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon”! That book is now on its way to the printer with the cover and back design in place and the book endorsements tucked onto the first page. I am now making plans for the book launch.
For now, the book launch is planned for Friday, October 19th at the Well, the coffee shop of Brookwood Baptist Church in Shreveport. Like last year, we will have refreshments, giveaways and I hope we have another huge crowd. I have also scheduled a book signing at First Baptist Church Orlando for October 27 and 28. If you know of a book store that might be interested in having me for a book signing, just contact me and let me know. Get me the contact information and I’ll turn it over to Charisma. God is SO good. He is in charge and His plans are so much grander and more satisfying than we can ever imagine!
Here are some pictures from this weekend.
I ran into Debbie Strang at the Charisma Media booth and she took me over to a shelf and showed me a mockup of my upcoming book, “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon”. I cannot begin to tell anyone what it is like to hold your next book in your hands! It was awesome as you can see by my smile in this picture.
Then, Atalie, part of the Charisma team, told me that Matthew West was signing copies of his CD single RIGHT NOW! So, having just heard Matthew, I followed Atalie and got in line. She had to leave to go meet with the next author for his book signing and asked me to get her an autographed copy. It was interesting standing in line for a short while with her and a team member from Tyndale and listen to their “inside scoops” of prominent authors such as James Scott and lots of romance writers whose names you would instantly recognize. Then Atalie was off and I was standing in front of Matthew West. I told him how much his song meant to me and how I appreciate his desire to tell the stories all around us. He then looked at the card with my book cover on it (12th demon) and asked all about my book. He took a card and said he would read it when it came out. We’ll see!
I then took Atalie her CD and headed over to the FaithWords booth to get in line to see Tosca Lee and Ted Dekker — the biggest names right now in Speculative Christian Fiction.
Now, several weeks ago, I wrote a review of “Thunder and Rain” by Charles Martin. He is, without a doubt, one of my favorite top 5 authors. As I walked up to the booth, I spied a pile of “Thunder and Rain” books. I was stunned! Was Charles Martin here? I asked the man piling up the books and he pointed right behind me. There was Charles Martin talking to his wife. I had just missed his book signing. But, being an opportunist, I grabbed a book and, like a trembling fanboy, asked Charles to sign my book. He was gracious and funny and signed my book while I hemmed and hawed and tittered and giggled. I finally got control over myself and we had a nice conversation about his writing, his books, and the fact I was an author.
Then, heart pounding, I got in line for Tosca Lee and Ted Dekker. I handed Tosca my card with my book cover on it because I had written my name and my wife’s name on the back. At my book signings, I always have people write down the name they want the book dedicated to. This avoids any misspellings. Now, while in line, I spied “The Sanctuary”, Ted Dekker’s newest solo book and the front cover was suspiciously similar to the cover of “The 12th Demon” with an arched doorway just as my book had. I spoke with Tosca and Ted both about my book and when Tosca turned the card over, Ted’s mouth fell open. He jerked the card out of her hand and stared at MY cover. Tosca said something about how much it looked like his newest book cover. Ted looked up at me.
“Who did this cover?”
“The awesome graphic designers at Charisma Media.” I replied.
“This is better than my cover!”
So, here is a shout out to the graphic designers at Charisma. Ted Dekker loves the cover design for MY book! Way to go! I walked away proud to be an author for Charisma!!!
And, at that point, I had to leave and go pick up my daughter at the airport. But, it was an incredibly, unbelievable, fulfilling day at ICRS. And, tomorrow will be better!
This weekend I am flying down to Orlando. Again.
I visit Orlando, Florida about six times a year. First, there is Walt Disney World which I visit about four times a year. Second, there is my co-author, best friend, and former pastor Mark Sutton who is now involved in his own ministry to Haiti (link). Third, my publisher, Charisma Media is in Sanford, Florida just north of Orlando and I like to visit them once or twice a year. It’s good to put a face to the name and it is good to get a feel of the organization for which you write. And, the people at Charisma are outstanding!
But, this trip is special. I will be attending the International Christian Retail Show. What is that? Here is a description from their website:
The International Christian Retail Show is where the Christian resources industry meets – and there are a lot of reasons why. There is no other time or place where so many people, products, services, media, authors, artists, and craftspeople are gathered together in one place.
To say this gathering is awe inspiring, daunting, and, yes, exhausting is an understatement. Exhibit after exhibit from all kinds of publishers, retailers, marketers fill the Orange County Exhibit Center and it will take three days to see everything. But, what I really love about this gathering is the chance to see and hear new media. Concerts and film showings will go on the entire time. My wife and I were fortunate to attend the 2008 gathering and we were stunned to hear a concert one evening that featured Jeremy Camp, The Annie Moses Band, Nicole Mullen, Natalie Grant, and others. All in one concert!!! I can’t wait to see what is in store this year.
So, join me each day beginning Sunday for a report from the exhibit floor of the International Christian Retail Show and I’ll tell YOU what to expect in the music and book stores this fall!
If you happen to get your hands on the ICRS magazine for July look on page 72! Awesome ad!
If you want to get in touch with me, I’ll be on the exhibit floor Monday and Tuesday. Just use the contact button to send me an email, a test message, or give me a call.
Get one of my cards:
See you there!!!!