In March of 2011, at the Mt Hermon Christian Writers Conference I met an author, and my life was changed.
Sitting in the front row (because I’m like that), I took copious notes and listened in awe as Mary DeMuth shared the various ways she had learned to make money as a writer. Mary’s name meant nothing to me at that point. I only knew I wanted to write, and I hoped to make enough money at it to attend that same conference the following year. Her class offered answers to my questions of Can it be done? and How? Mary said it could, and I believed her.
Then, she gave away copies of one of her books.
My covert approach to the table upon which said books resided may have indicated my insecurity at being a newbie with no knowledge or understanding of how these things work at a writers conference. Two different titles were offered with the gracious request that we choose only one so as to leave enough for everyone. I had never heard of either of the books, but I love to read so I figured, What the heck? In my novice confusion, I didn’t even realize they were actually Mary’s books. Sorry, Mary.
Should I just grab one? Which one? Did it matter? Was anyone watching me? In my fear and trembling, I didn’t catch the fact that they were related books; in fact specifically book 1 and 2 of a series. Even though I did read the cover, my nervous inhibitions kept me from comprehending a single word so I did what any book connoisseur would do: I chose the cover picture I liked best. It ended up being book 2. Of course.
Later, in the bookstore, I saw Thin Places A Memoir by…you guessed it, Mary DeMuth!
The book was relatively short, a price I could handle, and I actually recognized Mary as the author so I bought it. Imagine my surprise (at my own book table stupidity) and delight when I returned home and realized I had two new books to read by Mary! Confession here: I initially thought I sure hope I like her writing as much as her class!
Thin Places gripped my heart like a vise. By the third chapter I was sobbing for little Mary and for myself at the same age. Every chapter brought compassion for her and healing for me. At the end, I set the book down reverently and expelled the breath I seemed to have been holding throughout. I started the other book, Wishing on Dandelions, before my tears dried. And yes, now I’ve read almost every book she’s written.
Mary just released her newest book, Everything, which so far is everything I’ve come to expect from one of her books. Vulnerable, direct, insightful and real encouragements presented by a master wordsmith. Another pure delight.
There’s a moral to my story:
- Great authors should be promoted, and I believe Mary is one of the greats. Buy her books. Read her captivating word play for yourself. I think you’ll agree.
- Thank you, Mary. For forging a writing path with years of sequestered journaling, for teaching us what you’ve learned the hard way, for opening your heart and soul in the really hard places, and for all the encouragement and prayers you offer your readers. Thank you.
- Pray for Mary and her family. Her youngest daughter is currently ill with some undiagnosed ailment. It came without warning and stunned the family while Mary was on a recent trip to Haiti. You can read about it on Mary’s blog at www.marydemuth.com
I hope you’ll consider checking out Mary’s blog if you haven’t already heard of her. Time spent with Mary is time well invested.
Is there an author who has impacted your life? Tell us how in the comments below.