Sunday, September 21, 2008

ACFW Meet and Greet at Mall of America

Today was spectacular! My daughter, Brie, friend Christina, and I headed down to Bloomington. We showed up at the MOA and headed straight to the Rotunda. There were a few authors milling about, but no one really set up yet. I gave a shout out to Cathy Marie Hake who was sitting front and center. She waved back! We did shopping for about 1/2 an hour and I was determined to get back to the authors! To say I was giddy, is barely scratching the surface. Brie and Christina were just along for the ride.

The first authors I met were Tina Ann Forkner, Ruby Among Us and Miralee Ferrell, The Other Daughter. They were so awesome! Let me give you a heads up, I'm going to say this about every single author! They talked to me for the longest time. They didn't just give me some lame smile and send me on my way. Not that they would...EVER, but they're them, and I'm me! We took pictures together; with my camera and theirs! :) Unfortunately, my camera didn't do so hot and I'm sure it's because I had it on intentional flash so it didn't focus as well! :( Most of my pics are blurry! I'm going to try and fix them on Picasa tomorrow if there's time, then I'll post them.

Anyhow, back to my story. I'm pretty sure Brie didn't think these authors, who we absolutely love, would even know who I was. You should have seen her laugh out loud every time I introduced myself to the authors. My favorite response to an introduction was from Julie Lessman! She was standing next to Tosca Lee, who I have to say is absolutely stunning! I was chit chatting somewhat with Tosca and as soon as the lady in front of me was leaving I told Tosca to watch what was about to happen. So, I just said, "Hi," and paused, then said, "I'm Mimi!" She gave a little yell, I gave a good yell, we hugged, and I felt like a kid in a candy shop! She was so wonderful to talk to!

There were so many authors I thought I was never going to get through them all. I have to say, Cara Putman and her team did a fantastic job! They were all lined out so you could go from table to table meeting everyone and learning more about them and their books. There were authors there I'd never heard of and more men than I realized involved with ACFW! I'm not sure what kind of order everyone was in because my mind seemed to stop working as soon as I pulled into the Mall parking lot. :)

The one bummer to this entire event was forgetting several books. I have Nancy Moser's Just Jane, Lena Nelson Dooley's Minnesota Brothers (given to me by my mother in law), Sharon Hinck's The Secret Life of Becky Miller, and Ekaterina by Susan K. Downs and Susan May Warren. My goal with Michelle Sutton was to buy her book, It's NOT about ME, and the ACFW bookstore, but they didn't have it! I went to Barnes and Noble and they said they weren't carrying it yet. I guess that means I better order it through them so they'll start carrying it!

I went on to meet James Scott Bell, Angie Hunt, Rachel Hauck, Donita K. Paul, M.L. Tyndall, Judith Miller, Trish Perry, Camy Tang, Kelly Eileen Hake (Cathy's daughter), Amber Miller, Gail Gaymer Martin, Deborah Raney, Sharon Ewell Foster, Evangeline Denmark (Donita's daughter who is one of the funniest women and her newsletter is fantastic!), Cheryl Wyatt, Maureen Lang,
and Megan DiMaria. I have a feeling I'm missing people, but I hope they understand. Those are just the tip of the iceberg. There were so many more that I introduced myself to, signed up for drawings, etc. I left the MOA with the most satisfaction a person could have leaving that place.

Susan May Warren, who informed Brie that she had to start picking out my wardrobe, was a kick in the pants. That woman can get away with dressing funky. She says her teen dresses her, but I'm not sure I'm buying what she's selling! She looked to stinkin' cute. Because she's friends with Christine Lynxwiler, she called her to see where she was. Christine is on a deadline and was missing parts of the conference. Well, she made her way 1/2 way around the mall (with her editor I believe) to meet me! ME!!! I was so thrilled. To have Susan call Christine for me is so out there I can hardly stand it!

I really hope that at the end of the day, they had impacts on all the people walking around that minor city they call the Mall of America. The amount of people just passing by was probably impossible to count. I pray the authors end up with a whole new group of readers! Susan May Warrens agent was there and talked with us for a really long time. He was so interesting! While we were waiting for Christine, he pointed out a woman who was walking around with her husband. He said that lady's name was Carol Johnson (I believe) and she's the one who started off Janette Oke. Carol is pretty much who launched Christian Fiction as we know it today all those many years ago. On top of that, her husband was the President of Bethany House until just recently when he retired. Honestly, I would've loved to have gone up and introduced myself. I didn't and am kicking myself because of it. I have no idea what I would've said, but who cares, right? :)

Well, after we left the Mall, we headed back home, actually to work for me. We had barely been gone a few minutes when I started hearing a funky noise. Only by God's grace did we not get into an accident. Turns out the studs in the front driver's side tire were busted and the other 2 lug nuts were coming off and the rim ended up being bent. I'd had my tires rotated last week along with an oil change and our regular mechanic, who didn't do the oil change, came and picked it up from the side of the road. He said the people who rotated the tires must not have tightened the lug nuts! Yikes!!! He said we must have someone watching over us because it could've been pretty bad! Oh yeah we had "someone". His name is God! Hello. So, now the van is at the mechanics and I'm borrowing my friend's car. Pretty crazy, huh?

I will post pictures tomorrow, hopefully and I'll apologize now since a lot will be fuzzy. Bummer.

I want to thank every single author there today, even the ones I didn't know or meet! You were all so amazing and wonderful. I was blessed by my time there.


Christine Lynxwiler said...

Mimi! You are such an incredible blessing to ME! I was feeling a little left out at the Mall of America booksigning, even though it was my choice not to participate because of the deadline. I was thrilled to go to the mall to support my friends. But when Susie called and said you were there and wanted me to sign Along Came a Cowboy, I laughed out loud. God is so good to give us what we need. And I needed a reminder that someone reads my books and cares (to spur me on with my deadline.) Thank you again for waiting for me! I'm so sorry about your narrow escape with the van, but I'm thankful God took care of you! I love your blog. And your dedication to Christian fiction. Hugs!

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.