The Blog/Diary of Novelist Sam Batterman

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book Club, Signing & The Gathering 2010

Late last summer I made an important connection. As it turns out, it was providential. Sara Peters, the Bookstore manager of Southeast Christian Church, got a hold of a copy of Wayback that I was sending across the country trying to stimulate sales and the market for Christian techno-thrillers and quickly became my biggest cheerleader. The book flashed through the staff and is a good seller in their amazing bookstore.

I met Sara last year in Denver at ICRS and after she invited me to attend the Gathering, I knew I wanted to be here. The Gathering is just that--a collection of the owners and operators of Chrisitan bookstores from around the country (there were even proprietors here from Hawaii). Sara did an amazing job of organizing this mega event and it went very well.

While I had heard of "Mega-Churches" before, I had never really experienced one. Having gone to Bob Jones University, one of the largest Christian universities in the country, I thought I understood what big was.

I was wrong.

Southeast is enormous -- multiple sanctuaries (even one for weddings), multiple fellowship halls, a building for the youth called "The Block" and even a fitness and ministry building. You need a Segway to get around the campus. I'm not kidding!

While Southeast has hundreds of ministries and thousands of volunteers their compassion and friendliness are unmistakable.

The bookclub had me in for a presentation and discussion. There were at least 120 people there and we had a great time. The topic of my presentation was Christianity and Science Fiction - should we be involved with this stuff? The presentation went well and I had great conversations and questions about many of the subjects in Wayback.

It's so encouranging as an author to meet fans and put faces with the people that are "friending" you on Facebook and commenting on your blog site and sending you reader's email. The booksigning for the retail owners went very well - over 100 books were signed and I met some other authors who have had experiences similar to mine. One was a writing couple: Dave and Diane Munson. Now retired, Dave worked as an undercover FBI agent and Diane was a federal prosecutor. They write suspense novels such as: Hero's Ransom. It was interesting comparing notes about their writing journey and their impressions of the industry.

One thing that happened during this trip was the encouragement of fans for me to get the sequel to Wayback completed. I'm about 60% of the way done and this trip really lights a fire under me to get it done.

Here are some pics of the book club as the room is still filling up. Sorry I couldn't get one with everyone in it. Since I was speaking I was concentrating more on my discussion than being a photographer.

Gratuitous picture of me in front of a display stand of Wayback in the Southeast bookstore.

At the Author Autograph party for the Gathering. Met some great authors.



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