Friday, December 29, 2006

The Man Who Believed

Last night I enjoyed a hot chai and a special treat at Kaminsky's, a local favorite for sweets. For the first time since our initial e-mail nearly two years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting my literary agent, Mark Gilroy, face to face. And not only that, but his lovely wife and two of his daughters. It truly was a special evening for me.

You see, my first novel, The Spirit of Sweetgrass, will be released very soon in February. Mark Gilroy is the man who helped make this happen by loving my book, believing in it, and believing in me as a writer. He sold The Spirit of Sweetgrass in a two-book deal last February to Integrity Publishers, now a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. And he'd never even met me.

Introducing me to his family, Mark told them of our initial contact in March 2005, when I wrote him, told him I was a new writer and that I had a book I'd like him to review. He asked me to send it to him by e-mail and to my surprise and joy, within hours, Mark wrote me back to say he loved it and would like to represent me.

It's a funny thing, this technological age, this e-mail and telephone communication. We converse with one another regularly without ever making eye contact, without ever seeing facial expressions. And without ever having seen my face, Mark Gilroy believed in me, just as he believed in the words I put on paper in The Spirit of Sweetgrass.

This next year, 2007, my first novel will come out and my literary career "officially" will begin. I am excited, humbled and grateful to many people who have made my words into a real-life book. And Mark Gilroy is one person who will forever have my gratitude. As I reflect on the past couple years and gear up for the exciting new one ahead, finally being able to thank Mark in person and meet his beautiful family was icing on the cake.

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