Thursday, November 30, 2006

School Visits

Today I will be visiting the Masters Academy school in Oviedo, FL, my third visit there since my dragons series debuted. I was reminded again of the importance of these visits when I visited a Borders bookstore in Winter Park, the town where I live. Strangely enough, I haven't visited any schools in the immediate Winter Park area, so when I went to the Borders, I wasn't surprised to find only one copy of one of my books. I spoke to the bookstore manager and mentioned that I will be visiting a school in the area soon, and she said she would order "a few" copies.

In contrast, there is a Borders within a half mile of the Masters Academy, and I have visited several schools in the same area. The bookstore manager says he can't keep my books in stock. In one week they sold 61 copies of just one of my books, and that was without a signing. He orders caseloads at a time and asks me to warn him when I'm getting ready to visit another school in the area.

These sales are in addition to what I personally sell while I'm at a school. I tell the students if they don't have money now, just drop in on the Borders. They always carry my books.

This synergy has really worked out well. Because of my efforts, this Borders places my books prominently, thereby increasing sales through customers who might not have seen them otherwise, and Borders gets customers from my referrals who might not otherwise go there.

In short, it's helpful to an author to work together with a friendly bookstore. The teamwork helps us both.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

An Old Poem

While going through my files, I unearthed this poem I wrote years ago. I hope you enjoy it.

There is a path
That goes I know not where.
Though savage beasts may prowl its edge,
I trust the one who laid it there.

What is faith?
A path unknown
Whose builder’s name
Is signed in stone.

There is a road,
A course without a bend,
Though blinded in the storms of night
I run as one who knows its end.

What is faith?
A road so straight
That never turns
From Heaven’s gate.

There is a way,
A light of truth and life,
Though wrapped in humble cloths of flesh
He breaks the chains of sin and strife.

What is faith?
A way to see
Who lights the world
And sets us free.

There is a journey
Of nails and thorns in flesh.
Though blood and tears obscure the way
They purify the martyr’s steps.

What is faith?
The journey home
Is veiled in tears
Yet fully known.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I am going against the tide and setting goals before the beginning of the year. Since I will be writing Enoch's Ghost in earnest for the next few months, it's a good time to set writing goals as well as physical goals.

Writing goal - Write 40,000 words in Enoch's Ghost in December, 40,000 words in January, and 40,000 words in February. That should finish the book. I will keep my running word count on my blog.

Physical fitness goal - I want to bench press 300 pounds by my 50th birthday and run a half marathon on that birthday. I have been working out with my 21-year-old son for the past few months, and my maximum bench weight has increased from around 170 pounds to around 225. The next 75 pounds will be a lot harder, but I hope I can get there in the seventeen months I have alloted. I ran a marathon in 2004, but I have not kept up my running. In fact, during my three-month book tour, I hardly ran at all, so I'm back to running a measly two miles. Still, I think I can get back to 13 miles by the time I'm 50.

I will keep posting about my progress on these goals as well.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Book signings

I have two book signings today. The first is from 11 am to 1 pm at the Calvary Chapel Church bookstore in Melbourne. The second is from 3 pm to 5 pm at the Borders in Oviedo. If you are in the area, then come out and visit.

I booked these signings long before I knew when the annual Florida vs. Florida State football game was being played. They scheduled the kickoff for noon, so I will miss this huge rivalry game.

Go Gators!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Back in the Saddle

After an arduous book tour, I'm finally home. I did about 115 talks during my tour, and the process took a toll on my health--not as bad as last year, but I have a cold, and I feel pretty drained. Thank you to those who prayed for me during these difficult days.

Now I will rest for a couple of days rest before getting down to the business of writing my next book. I would appreciate it if some of you kind souls would continue to pray for me. I need God's protection and guidance as I try to write books that will please Him and extend His love and grace to thousands of readers.