On Saturday, November 29th, I had my first book signing at Just Dust Publisher’s Christmas Party in McMinnville, Oregon. I was blown away by the support of my family and friends who came out to buy a book and support me.
Even more amazing was my discovering of an amazing providence of God behind the scenes, and how one of my dearest friends played a big role in the birth of Just Dust Publisher, and, in a round about way, the publication of I Remember Fishing with Dad.
Here is that story.
I pulled into the office of Just Dust Publishers (JDP) a little after noon on the 29th.
Shelley Houston, the owner of JDP gave me a big hug and we took a picture together. Here we are with our books. (Shelley is also an author, and in this picture she is holding her novel Julia).
Walking into the office I was totally surprised to see my cousin, David Day already there. He is chiropractor, and lives with his family in Portland. It meant a lot that he would make the trip!
Another big surprise was that Dayle Gage, an old friend from Stanwood High School who was in the same class as my sister April, and her two daughters stopped by. It was so fun to catch up with Dayle, and so sweet of her to show her support in this way.
Some of Jenny and my best friends from college, Mike and Mellissa Mellison, and most of their kids came by. Mike and I share a love for books, and I his support of me in my first published book meant a lot to me. Mike is also a gifted writer and I’m hopeful that some of his great work will find its way into print too.
Mike and Melissa had served alongside of us in Indianapolis for a couple of years before he got a job as pastor in Albany, OR, and so it was fun for Jackie and Judah to catch up with their old friends Geneva, David, and Jonathan.
A friend of my mom and dad, Cindy Ellis also made the trek from the Portland area. It was fun to meet her. She has a real love for the story and the memories of salmon fishing because she also spent time on Camano fishing with her dad.
We had spent the week with Jenny’s mom and dad, Ron and Grace, her brother Rob and his wife Corrinne and their kids, and her sister Randy and their kids. So it was super sweet for them to drive to McMinnville to support me. (Jenny’s aunt and uncle, Sharon and Rex also came but I failed to get a picture of them.)
Here is Rob and his family (minus Caleb).
My niece Shelby modeling the book.
And my my father and mother in law, Ron and Grace, finding a quiet corner.
Here is my sister in law, Tina, laughing with old friends.
And here are Tina and Grace hobnobbing with some of the Just Dust Publisher team, who threw a great party.
It was a lot of fun to sign books and share my story with family and friends.
But MOST AMAZING was what I discovered earlier in the day about a behind-the-scenes story that involves one of my best friends, Kyle Liedtke, and his role in the birth of Just Dust Publisher.
I was reading the back of Shelley Houston’s novel, Julia, and noticed that she had thanked Kyle Liedtke of Media Talk Communications. I asked Shelley what that was about, and she told me the following story.
Years ago she had gone to a conference for writers in Bend, OR. She has attended a seminar taught by Kyle on how to market your book. Shelley said that Kyle didn’t spend any time on marketing, and focused his seminar on having a message you want to communicate. Shelley said that Kyle’s talk had really challenged her in a deep way, and that, at the end of the seminar when Kyle said that since he hadn’t spent time on marketing he would give each attendee a free 30 minute phone consultation, she had decided to take him up on it.
The following phone conversation with Kyle had a big impact on Shelley and from it, she said, she wrote her novel Julia and launched Just Dust Publishers.
And as I heard Shelley’s story I was blown away about how God, in his sovereign providence, used one of my best friends so many years ago to impact Shelley and through Shelley to be involved in the publishing of my story, I Remember Fishing with Dad.
(Below is a picture from my ordination as a Presbyterian pastor in Seattle in 1997. From left to right is Mike Mellison, Kyle Liedtke, myself, and Scott Miller, dear college friends)