Monday night, May 23, I was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Close to an hour of comments, written, vocal, and video from people I helped in their publishing career: Jerry Jenkins, Dennis Rainey, John Maxwell, and many more. My wife Rita and Lillian, our granddaughter, thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved seeing my wife laugh and laugh and just enjoy being with me as the positive comments kept coming.
By Lori Hatcher
The mountain breezes are cool as we snake our way up the interstate to the Ridgecrest Conference Center. My fellow writers and I are on our way to the legendary Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in Black Mountain, North Carolina, the second largest annual gathering of Christian writers in the nation. BRMCWC has a reputation as the place where careers are launched, visions are realized, and years of hard work find their reward.
Publishing has always been rife with rumors of publishers misjudging the potential of a book. For years Publishers Weekly would run an article on “sure-fire bestsellers” that were busts. Sometimes it is editors in the acquisitions department simply misjudging a book’s appeal—and sometimes it is marketing leaders applying what I call conventional wisdom to a book proposal.
If you asked most any pastor or ministry leader in 1996 about the state of Christianity in New England he or she would parrot a popular perception—the church is dead in New England.
Despite the seeming tragedy of losing an exciting opportunity as president of Here’s Life Publishers in 1992, the Lord kept dropping opportunities my way. In addition to the two books described in the previous installment, I was approached about helping a marriage counselor upgrade his book, Discovering the Mind of a Woman.
Does God have a plan for us when we are set adrift when our company is sold? I had seen the Lord provide a position at Here’s Life Publishers when I was released at Christian Herald in a cost-saving move. But now I was 62 and as former president considered not an acceptable editorial hire by book publishers I approached. I did have severance pay to tide me over for some months, but what then?