In May I signed up for the August 18 Book Fair in Springfield sponsored by Hen House Publishing. It was to be held at Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company. As the date approached, I wondered what I was getting myself into.
Before I left to pick up Joy, my bubbling-with-enthusiasm angel friend who agreed to help me, I spent some quiet time channeling my heart sister and marketing mentor, Deb Winegarten.
She models for me the wisdom I want to bring to my marketing adventures.
…it’s really, really clear to me that what I’m doing here has nothing to do with selling books. Or even writing books. There’s something else going on. It has to do with my purpose in life. From what I can tell, the books are just an excuse or a vehicle for me to interact with people so that whatever gift I’m supposed to share with them can come through. ~Debra Winegarten
And, a woman who has a family member who was just diagnosed with the same condition chronicled in my memoir, A Long Awakening to Grace, found her way to my table. We connected through tears and hugs and will be having lunch soon. I have already e-mailed her resources. Because this condition is so rare, it is unusual for me to meet another person with family suffering from this disease. I wrote my memoir to help others and I am in awe at how we were brought together … my book and this book fair being “only a vehicle for me to share my gift” with her.
Mother Stewart’s turned out to be a great venue that sponsors a number of exciting events including Friday night jazz.
Here are some of the authors I met … fascinating people with stories to tell.
Christian Bussler is an Iraqi War Vet who was responsible for gathering those killed and placing them in body bags. You can imagine the PTSD he suffered from upon his return to civilian life. He says writing his book, No Tougher Duty, No Greater Honor: A Memoir of a Mortuary Affairs Marine, saved his life and his marriage.
In her memoir, Behind Every Smile, Kristalen Barringer wants those who have been neglected, betrayed, and abused to know that healing is possible. She came all the way from Cleveland to share her story which illustrates how one can recover from grief and master their anger.
Certified Health Coach and student of theology, Craig H. Smith offers inspirational, motivational messages to help every believer when they get discouraged, disappointed, or burned out in his book, Every Monday: Finding God on Tough Days. His lovely wife, Victoria, assisted him at the workshop.
At age 15, Antoinne M. McKinney had a vision of lifestyle mentoring for youth and young adults. At his young age, his vision became a reality. He’s 29 now, married, and the father of two children. His book, The Inspiration that Lies Within: Success Management and Planning, is an outgrowth of the company he founded and encourages a lifestyle embracing success as an experience. What an inspiration this young man is. He also drove all the way from Cleveland for this event.
At her table, Rebecca Benston featured her book, From Judgment to Jubilee: Getting Back on Track After Times of Trial, as well as those of authors she publishes through her publishing company, Higher Ground Books and Media.
Writing as a spiritual practice led Nancy Flinchbaugh, contemplative retreat facilitator, to write two novels, Revelation in the Cave and Revelation in the Labyrinth which are written in the vein of The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, Indiana Jones, Clan of the Cave Bear, and Amelia Peabody. In her first book, she takes her female characters, members of the Magnificent and Marvelous Book Club, on an illuminating adventure in the land where Jesus taught and preached. In her second, a tale of love, transformation, and healing, these women support each other through life’s travails. Now isn’t that creative!!
Connie Chappell is a prolific writer of literary fiction and mystery. She featured several of her books. She was also generous in sharing her publishing expertise.
Melissa Litwiller enthusiastically featured her second novel in the fantasy and magical realism genre, Viper. An English professor, tutor, and writer, Melissa has a vivid imagination that conjures up many magical as well as frightening characters. She was generous in sharing what she is learning about marketing on Facebook.
Multi-talented Dawn M. Paul is an author, illustrator, and poet. She illustrates children’s coloring & activities books and books which center around the tales of a young lad, Christian Tompta, and gnomes. She has also written a memoir, You Are Forgiven: A Testimony of a Stubborn Christian Woman. Dawn says she sees things through rose-colored glasses and is a lover of gnomes, color, yarn, books, and God.
My writing partner, Nita Leland, came to the event to support me. I appreciate that and miss the days we collaborated together on our memoirs. Her’s is scheduled to come out by the end of 2018. You’ll be hearing more about that here.
I felt good about selling four of my books and connecting with the purchasers. Two of them want to write memoirs and I offered to support them if they would like. That may lead to an opportunity to teach memoir, something I would enjoy. One of them, a mental health professional flipped back and forth through my book and asked several questions. She wanted details. I was thrilled when she decided to make a purchase.
But what was most meaningful to me was finding the “gift I was supposed to share coming through.” It is clear I was meant to be at Mother Stewart’s this day. And I think that is just plain remarkable.