I know she’s going to be somewhat embarrassed (and not altogether unpleased) that I included her here, but considering that my mom is the one who taught me how to read and write in the first place, I thought it was important to feature her here in my Tuesday Team member posts. And, coincidentally enough… today’s post falls on her birthday. (I really didn’t realize until I finished writing and got to the scheduling part of this post that it would post on her birthday, but I think it’s cool).
At a young age, she instilled a love of the written word in me, both by reading out loud to me and by teaching me how to read for myself, as well as by praying that her children would love reading. Unfortunately for her, she made the mistake of telling me that she had prayed for this, and I definitely used it against her when I was a teenager and she was frustrated that all I wanted to do was read, or that I was staying up too late reading… I distinctly remember saying on more than one occasion, “You prayed for this, remember?”
However, despite having to raise me through my more trying years, she has always believed in me and encouraged me to do my best. Nothing less than my best was good enough, and I’m so thankful she and my dad never let me settle for mediocrity.
I know that the genre I write is not her favorite to read, but she reads them anyway, and tells me she loves them. She gets excited about my books when they are “finished” and in “real book” (i.e. bound) format. Her enthusiasm for my writing, even when it’s not the sort of thing she would voluntarily pick up and read if I hadn’t written it, means the world to me, and speaks her love in volumes.
Nothing new to report on the book front today… I am hoping that soon I will have an announcement about the book going to the printer for a proof-copy! And maybe I’ll post a preview of the new cover soon, would you like that? Or would you rather I wait until the book is available for purchase?
Anyway, I’ve been getting some pretty regular visitors to this blog, and analytics is showing that some of you are reading this from rather afar: Turkey, Australia, Brazil… all over the world – which is cool.
So I’m just curious: would you leave me a comment and tell me where you’re reading from? I think it would be interesting to know!
I don’t know if I’ll have a Featured Artist Friday this week… but I have my Meet the Team Tuesday post for next Tuesday all scheduled and ready to go!
Today’s team member is also related to me… because you couldn’t tell from the picture… Brittany is my sister, and perhaps the biggest fan I have. I know she has read all four of my books far more times than I have, and if she were to become a teacher and give a class on my books, I might possibly fail that class!
Besides being my number 1 reader Brittany is a super-talented artist in her own right as a musician. Together, we are teaming up to turn some of the poems that I have written within my books into actual songs. She has undertaken the task of putting the lyrics I have written to music, and I very much look forward to hearing what she comes up with!
One of the things that is so special about this team and family that God has blessed me with is that we all have particular talents, and it is really fun to see what happens when we weave all those talents together. My words; Angelina’s art; Brittany’s voice; Derek, Grant, and Evan’s business skills… this book is incorporating all of them and I can’t think of a project that I would rather work on, than one where not only my work is featured, but all of their talents are featured as well.
Today’s team member is my other brother, Grant. I cannot even count the number of times this guy has sent me an encouraging letter or note at exactly the moment I needed it, or the number of times I was ready to just give up on writing altogether and he has said something encouraging or just reminded me by example of why it is important to never give up. Also among my first readers, and the inspiration behind one of my characters, Grant is often my source for new ideas. Once, when I had writer’s block, I asked him to read what I had and give me some ideas for what should come next. He wrote me this paragraph:
“Rambo will take you there.”
“Oh good I feel much better with Rambo taking me there. You imbecile why would I let some homicidal ex marine touting a 60 cal take me anywhere?”
“Well, he’s gotten better.”
“Oh goood, he’s gotten better. Now I’m all relieved and like ‘cheerio’ let’s go adventuring. You’re all da da da da let’s go find Bambi and tell him that flower’s caught the SNIFFLES! It’s all over the mountain and through the woods from here. All mai tais and yahtzee eh? All lead pipe cinch, eh? All biscuits and gravy? All add the cream and hold the sugar? Well let me tell you I didn’t graduate out of pull-ups to be bibbed around by some maniacal man suffering from.. from a lot of angst! All this pubecent rage! All this teenage mad at my father syndrome. SHAME ON THEM!!!… no… I’m leaving…. and I’m taking the monkey with me!
It wasn’t very helpful or applicable to the story I was writing… which had nothing to do with Rambo, machine guns, or Bambi… but it did make me laugh, and took my mind off my writer’s block and onto figuring out exactly how many movies he had quoted and strung together in this unique way. After I read it, he did help me brainstorm a little, and what with the laughter, a very different perspective on the world, and a few ideas, I managed to get past the writer’s block and on with my story.
Grant is the “ideas guy” – he is my marketing strategist. He is the one who will be planning out my book-signings and book tours, writing letters to schools, libraries, and book stores asking if I can come hold a signing in their building. He is the guy I go to when I need ideas. And sometimes he sends them to me unsolicited, like the fragment of the story I shared on here a while back about the Mirror.
Also one of my very best friends, Grant is definitely one of the people in my life without whom, King’s Warrior would never have been written.