Smiles, Books, and Friends

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Lori Copeland, me, and Virginia Smith

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” ~ Mother Teresa

There was a lot of smiling going on yesterday at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest in Bowling Green, Kentucky as authors and readers gathered to celebrate books. That’s really what book fairs and festivals are all about – books.

I’ve had a love affair with books ever since I was a kid, and from the people I’ve talked to at book fairs, I know I have lots of company in this loving books fan club. That’s why book fairs are so much fun, because you’re in a big room with dozens, even hundreds of people who like books as much as you do. They have experienced the magic of words making stories that spring to life in the mind of a reader. And some of them, those behind the tables of books, know how it feels to be the one trying to make the magic of words and storytelling happen. They understand how much we all want readers to pick up our books and give our stories a chance.

But there are so many authors and so many choices that most readers only get to carry home a few of the books they want. Believe me, I know. I’m one of those readers. At this book fest I didn’t really have time to look around so I was spared the temptation of all those wonderful books begging to go home with me.

I’ve been to a lot of book fairs. I attended my first one sometime in the 1980s. That was with my young adult books. Now I’ve been going with my Christian fiction novels for the last seven years. One thing I have found to be true in writing for the Christian book market is that the other authors are so welcoming and so ready to be friends. I don’t know if I was too backward as a young author to make friends among the other writers or perhaps too busy with my young family, but until I started writing in the Christian market I couldn’t really claim any other writer as a friend. I had some acquaintances but no real, let’s get together for lunch and talk friends.

Now I’m blessed with many friends in the writing business. Friends ready to support me with encouraging words and helpful advice. Friends who will pray for me and friends I am ready to pray for when they have a need. Friends who seem genuinely happy when something good happens in regard to one of my books. Friends who are excited to share their good news with me. Friends who take pictures with me and their smiles light up a room. We share troubles. We share joys. We share disappointments. We share victories. We share those things with our readers too. Sometimes disguised in our stories. Sometimes in real life. It’s good to have book loving friends. 

Thanks for reading and thanks for being one of those book loving friends.