Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"The End" is Near

Only an author would take comfort in such words. And for me, if all goes according to plan, in about six weeks I should have all the little bits of my current story all spelled out, ready for the triumphant "THE END" at, you know...the end. Yep. December 15--marked on every calendar I own with a big, red "D."

It's not going to be pretty.

Traditionally, for me, that long, long journey to "The End" takes place in a house full of pizza boxes, where children slide school papers under a closed bedroom door, and a husband wonders why his wife is taking beauty tips from Howard Hughes. OK, I exaggerate a bit. Sometimes we have hamburgers.

Right now I'm optimistic. The unwritten chapters are quite clear in my head, and as soon as I figure out exactly how the story's going to end, it should be easy-cheesy. (Speaking of cheese, I'll probably have entire meals made of those tasty orange squares!) Of course, that's what I thought a few months ago when I opened the first Word document. For me, really, ending a book is never easy. Never pretty. And sometimes, it's downright stinky. Some authors claim to have fallen so in love with their characters they hate to say "Good-bye." In my case, I'm pushing them toward the door, suitcases in hand, out to the taxi I ordered sometime last summer.

But the prize! Ah, the prize. One hundred thousand words piled high upon each other. Words that never before existed in just that pattern before. Brand-new sentences molded into dialogue spoken by newly minted people. Right now, though, I'm still Dr. Frankenstein, rummaging through the graveyard looking for those final scraps of inspiration. Finding bits and pieces every here and there, with no idea if they'll work together when I flip the switch. And, really, you can't flip the switch until you get to "The End," can you?

It's going to be a long six weeks, for me, and all who know me. I'll need tons of patience, prayer, and, quite possibly, a good shampoo.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Have a Book Signing on Saturday

This weekend is LifeWay's Fall Fiction Event, where Christian ficion authors all over the country will be sitting just inside the doorway of LifeWay Christian stores all across the country signing their latest release. And I'll be one of them.

Before my first novel, I--like most pre-published authors--dreamt of The Book Signing. Hordes of people lined up at the table...outside the door...around the corner...down the block. Never once did I imagine huge blocks of time punctuated by strangers trying desperately not to make eye contact with me, steering their children away, suddenly needing to be somewhere else--anywhere else. Like, over there, the spinning rack of tiny, blank cards.

I've had some disastrous signings. The one with the hurricane, where the brave employess of LifeWay and I watched shopping carts go blowing by against the back-drop of an ever-blackening sky. Or the one scheduled on Texas' Tax-Free weekend, where the brave employees of Family Christian Store and I watched shoppers scurry in and out of Old Navy with passles of restless children and cranky teens. Or the one at the little store when came.

So, am I plagued with doubt, trepidation, insecurity and fear? Nope. Because, really, it's all still very, very cool. I have a fabulous, highly-anticipated, amazing book, Forsaking All Others. And I am so blessed to represent my strong, faithful team at Tyndale. There'll be a table and chair (chairs if I have a friend come hang out with me), a bottle of water or cup of coffee or both! I'll sit behind a gi-normous stack of my books--the final form of the story God gave me.

Saturday, from 11am-1pm, I'll be exactly where God has brought me.