I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have eternal life. [1 John 5:13]

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Every Person Has a Story

"Every Picture Tells a Story." I don't know who coined that phrase, but I'm going to take liberties to change it to "Every Person Has a Story." That truth became so evident to me as I "worked the room" yesterday at the Hanover Book Festival!

PhotobucketMost of the authors to whom I spoke were eager to tell me not only about their book(s) but also about themselves. I met young, old, black, white, male, female, "dog people", "horse people", those interested in the paranormal, those who had survived tremendous adversity, some who wrote children's books (most of whom had a light-hearted demeanor). In other words, if there is a "walk of life" I met someone from just about every one of them!

I got my table set up and then I grabbed a handful of my business cards and started around the room. I gave a card to each person to whom I introduced myself and asked them about their book(s) or made a comment that encouraged them to respond. I got their cards, email addresses, story of their book writing, etc. I think you get the picture. I engaged in conversation with a lot of writers yesterday!

Last night I reflected that it was almost like going to the State Fair! There was something there for every taste and style, background and interest. I also thought about how some of the stories just broke my heart. Yes, there were a couple of people who had overcome great tragedy or adversity, there were some to whom God had revealed their "job" was really their "ministry." But every single person had a story to tell, not only with their book, but with their life.

Networking was the name of the game yesterday! It wasn't really about selling books, but rather about making connections. I emailed the names of two authors and two publishers to the co-director of Richmond Christians Who Write for consideration as future speakers to our group.

I also exchanged marketing ideas and experiences with publishers with many of the authors. I shared a table with my dear friend, Tanya Tucker-Blowe. I met Tanya at a Christian Writer's conference in Virginia Beach. Her book title is based on the same scripture as mine, though our titles are different and our writing is different. She has been a gracious and generous encourager and I was thrilled I discovered she lives in Richmond. We have become good friends and sisters in Christ - encouraging and uplififting each other as authors and as friends.

God also revealed to me that I better get busy! Yes, that's right: I've got about 4 more books in me (last year at this time I tentatively would have shared that "maybe" I'll probably write another one in the future!) I know God has put a fire in my heart to get writing! Just do it, Mary! Do it now! Get 'er done!

I look forward to how God will use the people I met yesterday--not only in my own life, but in the world. I've already "friended" all I could find on FaceBook. The others I will email today. I have grown to care deeply for some of my "on-line" friends and I look forward to the relationships that will grow from the Book Festival.

My kids would tell you they're not the least bit surprised that I talked to so many people. They got over their embarassment of my talking to anybody and everybody - anywhere, anytime at a very early age:-) That's what it's all about my friends: connection, relationship, shining your light. Because you never know who is living in darkness, desperately in need of a light to guide them out into the light of Christ.

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16 NIV).
"[ The Glory of Zion ]

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you" (Isaiah 60:1 NIV).

Blessings on your journey


Marsha said...

So true, Mary. Each of us does have a story to tell. Those of us who know Christ, our story should point to Him.
I'm glad you were sensitive to the Spirit during the Festival yesterday.

Chatty Kelly Combs said...

Sorry I missed getting there. Keep making those connections!

Heart2Heart said...


I am praying for you that each and every one of those connections you made yesterday will bless you in some way. It is interesting that God brings people into our lives to move us forward into the next chapter of our lives, especially when we need that extra push.

I too, am looking forward to your next book and hearing more about where you are headed next!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Andrea said...

GO MARY GO! GOD is clearly doing a mighty work!
Love ya, andrea