Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:11-12
As I prepared for the ACFW Conference, I knew my books needed a wider audience. The true stories of Eliza, Julia and Caroline should impact more lives than I can reach myself. Not that my writing is deserving of it, but the women are. I decided I needed an agent and publisher. I spent a lot of time preparing “one sheets”, summaries of the books and my qualifications. I crafted and tried to memorize “pitches” a short description that I could quickly say. I studied the agent and publisher list and prepared packets for them depending on their interest. I heard that generally people have three to five scheduled appointments but to be prepared to pitch over dinner or in an elevator. By the time I got to Nashville, I was as ready as I could be, but when I picked up my registration packet, I discovered that I only had one appointment with a publisher. No agents. One appointment after weeks of work. Needless to say I was disappointed. In fact, I decided to go next door to Panera Bread for dinner, pick up a salad and go to my room to eat it alone and pout. God had other plans. In addition to all my preparation, I prayed and asked others to pray that God’s Will would be done and that He would show me clearly the next step for me as a writer. While I sat in the hotel lobby trying to figure out if I should go right or left out of the hotel to Panera Bread, I saw a woman sitting across from me and felt God telling me to ask her to dinner. Ask a stranger to dinner? When all I want is to go to my room and have a pity party? I wrestled with God for about fifteen minutes as the woman fiddled with her phone. “See God, she is busy. She doesn’t want to go to dinner with me. She is probably waiting for friends.” “Ask her,” He repeated. I worked up the courage and asked. After a “Who me?” moment, Vikki Kestell graciously agreed to go even though she had already eaten dinner. You see, Vikki is also an introvert and would never have approached me either, but God scheduled a divine appointment for us. Vikki is an accomplished independently published (note, I no longer use the words self-published) author who teaches seminars for authors on how to market. While I ate chicken pot pie that I never even really tasted because all I could think about was God’s amazing work, I learned ways to market and the importance of that marketing. Vikki said over and over again, “You don’t need an editor or an agent. You can do this yourself!” I left the table with a new friend and encourager and the conviction that I was on the right path already. I just needed help in making it around the bend. God used Vikki to show me the way!