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THE MAKING OF A BOOK
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PART 39 SOMEONE’S FAVORITE AUTHOR
The year Hurricane Katrina destroyed cities along the gulf coast avalanches of supplies were donated to needy citizens. Churches served as distributors. During that dark time, Hosanna Church sponsored a two-day Christmas program called Imagine Christmas to cheer the despondent. Thousands attended to watch a show and receive free supplies.
The Christmas program continued as an annual event of free stuff those in need. By the time my family began attending the church, life in the Gulf South had returned to its normal patterns and a small charge for food had been added. I volunteered to be the photographer for Santa photos which cost $1 to cover the cost of printing. A woman waiting for her children to be photographed with Santa told me attending Imagine Christmas had become a tradition for her family.
The year Finding Faith released; the church invited me to sell my book at Imagine Christmas. My experience at the event started badly but ended well. They simply did not know what to do with me. After that experience, I decided an event to distribute free stuff wasn’t worth the time and effort to sell a book. Until I withdrew an announcement tucked in the church bulletin about Imagine Christmas and saw something new – a craft bazaar.
I contacted Mindy, the organizer of the bazaar, “Are books allowed or crafts only?”
“Books are welcome,” she said. I had reservations. The previous year had been fraught with problems. Paying for a table to sit in the dark did not appeal to me. Mindy patiently addressed all my concerns until I was convinced the cost would be worth it.
From a vendor’s perspective, Mindy and her team did an outstanding job. The fee was reasonable for a table and two chairs under a tent. The activities were arranged to direct foot traffic through the bazaar tent increasing the possibility of sales. Perfection aptly describes the first night. Mild weather with a lot of traffic through the tent, but sales were sparse. Attendees were still accustomed to free stuff.
This time I was one of three books available for purchase. Allyn was picking up The Pea in Peanut Butter when I stopped at her table.
“Are you leaving?”
“No, I have too many books on the table,” she replied.
Deborah, author of the Samantha Cain Mysteries, sat at the next table engaged in a conversation with my husband. I knew Deborah from a writer’s conference. Her books were now available nationwide in Walmart, Costco, and Christian Bookstores.
I knew Saturday would draw a bigger crowd and hopeful I would sell a few more books. The weatherman had predicted rain for the morning that would blow through quickly leaving a dry afternoon and cooler weather. The morning came and departed without rain. Dark clouds were gathering as I drove to the church. I made it to the tent before a light sprinkling of rain. Not good, but the bazaar had not officially opened yet. The light sprinkling turned into steady rainfall. Puddles of water formed. The only people in the tent were disappointed vendors and event staff pushing water out of the sagging tent ceiling. The tent lighting, no doubt affected by the rain, faded in and out. I considered leaving in the lull between downpours. But the first show had started, and I thought people might come to the tent afterward.
I was wrong, but I am glad that I stayed a little longer. A woman made my soggy day worthwhile when she stopped at my table to chat.
“Someone just told me that you are her favorite author,” she said.
Who knew I was someone’s favorite author? Not me. I didn’t sell a book, but I did leave the event greatly encouraged that I was someone’s favorite author.