Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Are You the Author?

It's odd to hear that question asked of me. Since fifth grade when I'd poured over the adventurous stories of Nancy Drew, Donna Parker and Trixie Belden, and I attempted my own words to paper, I had no inkling that one day my name would appear on a book's cover.

Two years ago when I browsed inside a bookstore and inquired to the location for a writer's handbook, the clerk asked, "Are you a writer?" I wasn't sure how to answer. Though the title of "writer" deserved to be bestowed on a choice few, I was certain I wasn't one of them. I'd had a few articles accepted to an ezine--unpaid--but I'd learned that didn't qualify one to be called an official "writer." But because I did write, I answered the question in the affirmative.

Still, it was a tad embarrassing. Folks naturally seem to think if you're a "writer", then you're an "author", which I wasn't. I never exactly knew how to describe the difference without making myself sound like an idiot in which case the hearer would probably think, "Well, I wouldn't want to buy any of her books anyway! If she had some out, that is."

During these past two years, I struggled and learned. God opened doors for me. I actually sold some articles--with pay! And the next step that happened was...I received my first contract for a book length manuscript. Wow!

A few months later that was followed with a second contract. Time to catch my breath here and ask--Is this really happening to me?

Part of the job of writing is to market and promote your works. With that in mind, I walked to my local newspaper office and asked if they'd run an ad about my book. They agreed. About three weeks later, my bank teller told me she'd seen the article where I was featured.

Oh, boy. This I've gotta see for myself.

So I walk to the newspaper office, leaving my purse and my money in the car. When I enter the building, I see the stack of papers in a stand, but--duh! I didn't have the fifty cents to buy my own paper! The editor is at a desk and peers at me over the top of his glasses. I tell him I want to buy an issue but will need to return to my car and get my purse. He then asks, "Are you the author?"

Such sweet words.

Though I felt a bit like ducking behind his desk, it hit me how, through the grace of God, He'd allowed me the right to wear that hard won badge.

To Him I humbly give thanks.

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