Or, How You Never Know What Can Happen At a Writers Conference...
I was not able to share this in my Emerald Coast Writer's Conference blog because it was not "set in stone" as the cliche goes, but I can share it now. I have just booked my first weeklong conference as a motivational speaker. From July 23 to 27, I will be speaking at the Children of Destiny Conference put on by Grace Tabernacle Church at Ft. Walton Beach to kids from 1st grade on up to 8th. There, for 45 minutes a day, I shall tell the kids a story from another series I've created (name to follow once I figure it out) and draw spiritual parallels from it. I'm so excited because this is what I believe I've been called to do. (More on that below.)
The amazing part about this is how it happened. First, understand that I was leery of going to the Emerald Coast conference because of the distance from Naples (9 hrs). Still, something told me I should go, so I went. On Friday, I presented a workshop entitled, "The Three Rules of Great Writing." I also passed out my book in e-book form on CD, my trustee first chapter brochure, and a bookmark. Unbeknownst to me, the Associate Pastor for Grace Tabernacle Church, a non-denominational church just like mine, was sitting in the audience. He read my first chapter brochure, including the short bio about how I love to work and speak to kids in my youth group, and handed me his card immediately after the workshop, saying that he wanted me to speak at his conference. We discussed the message he wanted me to give, and--low and behold!--I had already developed a six series lesson plan that tells the story of a boy named Darin who enters the service of Prince Stephen who is trying to take his kingdom back from the clutches of the evil Duke of Archenbrand. (I've already got the 30 second pitch for it, and the book isn't even written.) He loved the series (I sent him an outline over e-mail two hours after I discussed it with him.) and just okayed it with his pastor today.
Now for the freaky part. I don't know what any of you believe about God. For me, God is so real, and I've seen Him work in my life in so many ways. Last summer, I attended a youth conference as a chaperone, and as I was listening to the speaker something told me to listen well because I would be doing conferences one day. It didn't make any sense then--I was a small time youth worker waiting to be published, but I decided to follow the idea. I changed my style of speaking from analytical to parable telling, and created the Darin Series for my youth group. Now, less than a year later, I've just booked a youth conference where I'll be using that very series--due to a writers conference that I wasn't sure I wanted to go to but attended because something told me I needed to be there. Some people might call it a coincidence, but I don't think so.
For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at http://www.elysianchronicles.com.