I felt it was late enough that a good pun was in order.
But actually, it’s “catch up,” as I’m two weeks behind in faithfully posting about my tour mates on the blog follow-up to the Fantasy Fiction Tour – West Coast ’08.
First, the Ladies of the Tour: Ms. Donita K. Paul and Mrs. Sharon Hinck.
Sharon and I go way back…well, not necessarily in years spent knowing one another, but in shared history. During last year’s tour, when we began sharing our life-stories on the road, I explained how I was raised in a little town in upstate NY in a hippie community where church was anything but dull. Suddenly Sharon exclaims, “You mean Love Inn?” To say I was shocked would be a gross understatement. As it turned out, the very radio show that my father spent many years of his life producing–one of the very first Christian radio broadcasts in the country (the Scott Ross show…now with CBN)–was the very same radio program Sharon would tune in to all the way out in the MidWest. Dawn Sandquist, one of her heroes in worship dance, was my teacher. And when “Uncle Phil” [Keaggy]–who also once called Freeville, NY his home– turned out to our Nashville stop, you would have thought Sharon was about to explode.
Needless to say I am forever endeared to Sharon, her sincere and gentle faith, and her passion for the arts. If you have not picked up her Restorers series, or any of her other fine novels, you are really missing out on a marvelous woman of the Christan faith.
Next comes Donita K. Paul, the woman I consider the Queen of Christian Fantasy, the Momma of Dragon Fiction, or known by most simply as “The Dragon Lady.” I had the privilege of meeting Donita on the same, momentous day that I met Wayne Thomas Batson, Bryan Davis, and Angela Hunt for the first time. And right away I knew that I loved her. There was something magical about her. She loves you like your mom, hugs you like your grandma, and tells stories like your favorite Kindergarten teacher.
While each author on the FFT has their unique fortes, I was spellbound the first time Donita took the stage in Abbotsford, BC, as were all those in attendance. While the rest of us were busy talking and giving our anecdotes, flailing swords and being loud, Donita took to the stage and sat silently in her chair. Suddenly, her hands moved, painting a picture with mime, and soon began telling a story as the bards of old might have. No one stirred and all eyes were on her…mesmerized.
Donita is a marvelous woman of the faith, spirited, yet full of genuine love for people. Again, please make a point of investing in her works, best known for her Dragon Keeper series, if you haven’t already.
Lastly, I’d like to showcase Mr. Eric Reinhold for a moment. Eric was also new to the FFT this year and heralds from Orlando, FL. When he’s not authoring his next novel, he’s managing people’s money. Not the combination you expected? Well, that’s not the only unusual thing about this guy! He’s far from the typical “author persona” you might expect of a book-wormed, computer-fixed individual. He’s hilarious! And wild! And sarcastic! So many times he had me almost spitting out whatever I happened to be drinking or eating, and always kept the tour light.
Eric is also dedicated to the Lord, his family, and to his work. Extremely passionate in all he does, we had the chance to encourage Eric (and watch him go through a series of emotional roller coaster rides) as the stock market began its crash the beginning of October. But through it all he has remained successful and true to his integrity as a man of God and a phenomenal manager of peoples’ wealth. I admire him greatly and appreciate his friendship.
Do make sure to sop by his website and let him know I sent you. The Ryan Watters series will be great for any young teens on your Christmas list.
That’s all for now, readers! Thanks for waiting patiently for some content other than pictures. It’s been a busy month. And if you’d like to sign up for my newsletter (which just went out last week), please sign up here. (You should get the last issue automatically sent to your email when you register).