Scribe Scrawlings


Two Book Give Away--Contest Ends 10/15/09
Winner Announced: Kayla! See post below for full details!


Melissa Rose

What Do You Listen To When You Write?

Friday, June 8, 2007

To Arms! To Arms!

Did you know, that the English long bowman was expected to be able to fire 12 to 15 arrows a minute

and hit his target dead or close to center, or he was not considered proficient? (That’s one arrow every 4 to 5 seconds)

Or that training for archers started at the age of seven? (And I thought my schooling was rigorous)

Or that the range of a long bow fired by skilled archer was between 200 and 400 yards? (That’s between 600 and 1200 feet. In comparison, a football field is usually 360 feet in length)

How about the fact that fired at close range an arrow from a long bow could penetrate 4 inches of seasoned oak? (Go look at the thickness of any door in your house and think on that again)

Why in the world am I regaling you with all these facts? Well, in a way this is an invitation to battle, and more than that, an invitation to string your own bow and provide some much needed cover fire for myself and all the other harried bookstore staff working on this Fantasy Four Signing Tour. If they are experiencing anything like what I have this week just trying to get the books in, they have got to be weary and frustrated and pretty much ready to kick something.

It took coming home and outlining all the impasses and annoyances to Mom to make me understand that there is more going on than just the normal problems associated with getting new books into the store, but I finally got it. We are under attack. Now, I am not one to jump at shadows or to blame Satan for what is clearly a person’s own willful nature at work, but when things get this out of control and family members start questioning what is going on, then I do pause and go ‘hmmm, what am I doing that gotten the Enemy so annoyed.’’

I believe the answer is, I’m supporting authors who have the Gospel tucked in their work. Any time the Gospel goes out and people get the chance to hear it the Enemy is not pleased. I suppose I got into the mindset of ‘This is going to be fun, this is going to be a lovely fantasy book signing and that gives me an opportunity to play with decorations and long sharp metal pointy things and music in the store, and to also show that fantasy continues to do well for us as a store so we will continue to keep it in.’

In sharp contrast to that, the reality is “This is the Gospel going out into the secular fantasy realm, these are four dynamic brothers and sisters in Christ taking a message of hope and of love out to a fandom that Sunday Morning Christians tend to shun or mock. This is the net, being lowered into the vast sea of the lost, and a chance that it be so full to the breaking that those four can’t pull it back into the boat on their own.

Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but it’s a mission’s trip in disguise.

So, I shouldn’t be surprised that everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. From our computers being ‘blind’, meaning I can’t see the titles to order them through the distributors when I look at their inventory because we are so behind on updates that our archaic computer system doesn’t recognize them, to my co workers forgetting that this is happening in less than five weeks and looking at me with glazed, blank expressions when I bring it up. I would scream, but that tends to scare customers.

So, I am asking for your prayers not only on the day of the signing, July 14th, but right now as well. And, here are some of the targets for you to train those lovely prayer ‘arrows’ at:


Please pray that everyone who works at the bookstore, myself included, would be able to communicate clearly with one another and the customers about this event. It’s amazing how garbled things get even with my writing them down and making sure people read the flyers. And the co-workers I have are highly intelligent, professional, and knowledgeable people. So, please pray about the clarity of communication. If we can’t get the word out, we’ve slit our own throat. Maybe the Enemy knows that.


I am starting my least favorite part of the signing, I’m going to be calling the newspapers and radio and talking with people letting them know that this lovely tour is coming to the area. Now, the owner is going to be doing some advertising, the organizers for the signing are doing advertising, but it’s my job to see what kind of ‘free publicity’ I can drum up. I basically talk about how wonderful the authors are, how great the books are (that’s the easy part) and then tell them about the store and the times and dates of the event and that’s where it gets sticky, because no print media wants to give free publicity. And that is what I am asking for, which leads to some interesting conversations. You’d think I’d have a thicker skin by now, but I don’t. So please pray that Christ give me favor where He wants me to have favor and that I’d have just the right thing to say to them at the right time to open up whatever door He wants opened.

Last year, I was talking to someone in the local radio media, while we wound up paying for a spot of advertising instead of getting it for free, I so impressed the woman I was talking to with Mr. Batson’s book, that she bought several copies, one for her son and the others for his friends. When I talked with her again about a different author, she told me how everyone had loved Wayne’s book. I was thrilled, and so was she. That’s the kind of ‘open door’ that I love.


From start to finish, I spend over 100 hours on any given signing, and that doesn’t count how many times I repeat the information or share anecdotes with interested customers or cajole shy readers into venturing out to meet the authors. I have the ‘staging’ to do which usually requires off the clock set up the day before, not to mention making or finding things (that’s fun, but it takes time), and then the break down and rearranging of the store after the signing. Then there’s the talking to the media, often time the writing of the ‘blurbs’ that air on the radio (because I’m the one that can recite the information in my sleep) and the gathering of information from publishing house reps so the owner can order the books through the publishers instead of the distributors for better discount. I do all that, on top of the regular duties I have. I am blessed to have wonderful co-workers that do whatever they can to help me. But I do get weary. So, please pray for stamina for me and for strength, my goal is to be as excited about the event when I talk to the thousandth person as I am when I talk to the first.

You know, as I’ve been typing this thing, I believe that the Lord has impressed on my heart to ask that you pray these things not only for me, but for the authors as well. They are going to need to communicate clearly with each other and their fans on this tour for it to go well. You can imagine too the logistics nightmare it could be getting four people and their gear from one event to the next with nothing getting left behind and to leave and arrive on time. And they are going to need favor, Mr. Batson’s shared some of the rejection and frustration they’ve all ready gone through just trying to get bookstores, Christian in particular, to host the signings. And they are most definitely going to need stamina

So please, cover fire for me and cover fire for them. It matters so very much. And keep checking back, I’ll start updating more about the signing and of course post pictures when I have them.


WayneThomasBatson said...

I've been advised by several people that you KNOW that you are serving God when you find yourself under attack. So, To ARMS!! I heartily agree. Scribe I so hear you. I've been in close contact with the authors on the tour, and to a person, we are getting hammered with all manner of oddly timed crud.

Yesterday, I couldn't believe it. Not five minutes after my cell phone died, my wife traveling alone with my youngest finds herself stranded on a busy highway with a dead car.

But God was there. My wife's sister was on her way home from work and kindly rescued her from what could have been bad news. 5 Minutes after my cell dies.

To all who read, please pray. I think there's a reason that so many secular stores have opened up for our tour. I'm beginning to think that some of the Christian Bookstores that have declined having us, did so because God wants us to go out in the world. It's a little disturbing but also intriguing.

Of this I am convinced, God is stronger than the one who is in the world. And God will do great things on this tour.

Pray that people would come out of the woodwork to come and see us. And pray that God's truth in our books would sink deeply into the hearts and minds of all who read.

Shing! {That would be the sound of a long blade being drawn.}

Eve said...

"Clank, clink, clank!"-don't forget your armour, guys and gals!

I'll do battle here in NB, Canada-on my knees!

Wayne, I too believe God wants us fantasy writers to expand beyond our Christian comfort zone-...GO ye into all the world and preach the gospel...."

Galactic Overlord-In-Chief said...

You'll certainly get a lot of people in the bigger, secular bookstores, and I imagine you'll reach the people who need it the most, and who will spread your work to other people.

And as for my weapon...

*Draws phaser and sets to kill*

- Jason

WayneThomasBatson said...

I prefer to set my Phaser for Deep Fat Fry.


Poll Results

What Do You Notice First About A Book?
RESULTS! Closed 11/11/09

My attention's always grabbed by the cover-53%

I look on the spine for the author's name-6%

The thicker books are the one that grab my notice-26%

I open the book up to the middle and burry my nose in the pages, sniffing. Scent is important-0%

I flip the book over, ignore the cover and the spine and get to the book blurb-13%

Pick Your Weapon! RESULTS! Closed-11/03/09

Hand and Half Sword-16%
Long Bow-25%
Pen-25 %

What Kind of Fan Are You? RESULTS! Closed-10/22/09

Shy. I like reading books but I don't want to meet the authors-15%

Avid. I've read everything my favorite author has written!-38%

Curious. I've e-mailed my favorite author or left comments on the blog and asked them questions-38%

What Kind of Word Smith Are You? RESULTS!-Closed 10/15/09

I focus on setting-22%
I focus on dialogue-22%
I focus on action-22%
I focus on characters-33%

What Kind of Reader Are You? RESULTS!-Closed 10/07/09

I try and guess where the story is going to go-44%
I read the book and think how I would have written it differently-0%
I race through the story, riding the words like a rollarcoaster-22%
I race through the book and then go back and read my favorite parts again and again-33%

What Kind of Writer Are You? RESULTS!

Character first--1%
Plot First--4%
Balanced Between Plot and Character--5%
All Over The Place--5%

So All Over The Place and Balanced Between Plot and Character tie for the win! All I can say is that there must be some wicked stories out there. I can't wait to read them!

Scribe is Listening to:


Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian Sound Track.

Books on CD: The Moving Finger Read by Martin Jarvis. Original story by: Agatha Christie

Scribe is Reading:

I am? COOL!

I'm apparently referring to myself in the third person too. Go figure.


Nightmare's Edge by: Bryan Davis

The Invention of Hugo Cabert (Caldecott Book) by: Brian Selzinck-FINISHED. Mind blowing! Every storyteller should read this book.

FEARLESS by: Max Lucado-FINISHED. Excellent!

NLT Chronological 24/7 Bible paperback
NASB Online at Bible Gateway


Psalm 49

Psalm 49
A Psalm of Repentance

About Me

My photo
I tell stories all day long. Some with my pen, some with my keyboard and if you can find me, buy me a coffee and I'll tell you one too!