It was the holy grail for me. After at least two decades of dreams of books with my name on the cover dancing through my head, I held that very book in my hands. My lifelong dream had come to fruition after countless hours of my fingers pecking away at a keyboard while I relived the most petrifying, defining juncture of my life.
Fantastic and terrifying all at once, I suddenly found myself in possession of boxes upon boxes filled with hundreds of those beautiful books. The joy of beholding the single author copy of In My Wake I’d received in the mail a couple of weeks before those piles of boxes showed up was very swiftly tainted with fear and disenchantment. What on earth did I think I was doing?
Before I dropped to my knees and started hyperventilating, I breathed a desperate prayer to the Playwright of my story – and Jesus delivered a mountain of peace right then and there. And along with that peace, He gave me a very clear commission: to share how I found redemption, and was set free from myself. To plant a seed for someone that could maybe, one day, be nurtured into faith in our One True God.
With the wind of God’s request of me in my wings, I made the arrangements for a book launch in an ideal little café, and a second launch in another, equally ideal café with a bookstore in it. I advertised the launches tirelessly on social media, with flyers all over the place, and had one of them advertised on the radio. With all this grand publicity in my pocket, I showed up at each of these events with hopeful expectation. At the first, six or seven people showed up; at the second, five came.
Right there, it would have been so easy to pack the cases deep into my basement and let my future grandkids come across them half a century later. But, at the end of another unsuccessful night in that second cafe, staring ponderously at a display of Christian books gave me a little dose of clarity. The details of each of those book’s journeys were complete mysteries to me, but they all have the same goal: to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a world that is saturated with secular works.
Right along with that reinforcement from above came an incredible phone call that kick started the promotion of my work. My publishing agent at Word Alive Press greeted me with an invitation by 100 Huntley Street to be a guest on their show! Here was an opportunity like no other. I made the journey to the studio with a very renewed sense of purpose and strength, and that revival has not dimmed.
In the months since I was faced with the undertaking of a lifetime, I have almost sold out of that first mountainous print run. Persistence and variety were, and still are, key. I quickly learned to pursue a lot of different avenues and let them know I had something to share with them, and the more I did it, the easier it became. People are actually quite receptive to authors with new books! As I was able to get my bug into more and more ears, they eventually did start seeking me out.
Rather than a wildly successful book launch, there have been many different types of speaking engagements based on my story of God’s love. 100 Huntley Street fanned my book’s promotion into flame. It started with being a guest at small youth groups and women’s bible studies, then retirement homes and town festivals, and more lately, being asked to be a keynote speaker one night for several hundred women.
Looking up and asking my Lord to direct me and my work as he pleases has been the one thing that has given me wings. He was the One who inspired me to write the story in the first place, and every step, from the first sentence of the manuscript to the few remaining copies of the book I have left right now, has only been possible with a little drive and a lot of faith.
Amanda has dreamt of being an author for as long as she can remember, and has started writing countless unfinished stories. Finally, after a story of God’s redeeming love was written on her life that couldn’t be left untold, the words poured out. She continues to work in youth ministry and is a high school educational assistant. Amanda lives in Manitoba with her husband and two children.