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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fox and Friends Recap and WRBS Radio

You all are the most excellent prayer warriors. I cannot thank you enough for hitting your knees on my behalf. National TV was not to be taken lightly, and I was seriously nervous. If you watch the video of the last day of the Tour, you can actually see me getting the phone call from my agent when he told me that I was going to be on Fox and Friends, National Television. I turned sheet white, and my mouth dropped so wide open you could have flown a jet in there.

Here's a recap on what it was like to go on Fox and Friends. Fox sent a car to pick me up. Dropped at the Studio in the middle of Rockafeller Square downtown. Several levels of security--including the coolest glass doors I've ever seen--later and I was met by a producer. She led me to a small room filled with chairs, monitors, and muffins. There were two other guests in this room. I didn't recognize either, but my first thought was "Holy Cow, they're wearing a lot of make up!"

The producer told me that someone would be along to mic me in a few moments, and in the meantime, I could watch Fox and Friends on the monitor. Geraldo Rivera was the guest on at that time. A few moments later, he walked right into the waiting room. Nice guy, turns out. He introduced himself and offered his hand. I promptly shook and introduced myself. And then off he went.

Geraldo, huh? Who would of thought?

Next thing I knew, I was ushered into a little closet of a room. I sat in a kind of barber chair surrounded by mirrors, lights, and hundreds of different types of makeup. A kind lady (who kept calling everyone "sweetie") said, "I'm just going to put on a little to make you camera-ready, sweetie."

Then she went to work. A little tan stuff on her fingertip, right under my eyes. Then powder applied with a paintbrush thingy. She'd look at me and frown, then she'd get something else to layer onto my face. One time, she took out a tube of some clear gel that smelled vaguely of peaches and rubbing alcohol. She daubed that on my face too. One more final layer of some powdery substance and apparently I was ready for TV. lol

Btw, after the interview, I called my wife. She said, "Next time you go on TV, make sure you get some makeup on those bags under your eyes." I replied, "They DID put makeup under my eyes!" Where's the love?

After makeup, a nice fellow named Brian came in and put on my mic. Suddenly, it was time. Down a shadowy hall, stepping over cables and wires, then through a door that read "On Air." I found myself on the set. Three chairs and a coffee table on a dais raised from the floor about a foot. The commercials were on. During that time, Steve and Gretchen, the hosts of the show, introduced themselves. They had cue cards in their laps and ran through some of the questions with me.

Someone off camera said, "Clear set." And then began the countdown. On in 10, 9, 8, {Cue stomach flipflops} 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...The Camera rolled. The questions came in a blur, and whoosh, it was over. I came to find out later that they never showed the artwork of any of my books--major bummer. I was also bummed because they never brought up the Fantasy 4 Fiction Tour--which was part of the preInterview the day before. Nonetheless, it was national exposure for Christian Fantasy, and apparently, some folks were watching.

Amazing the power of TV.
Since 2005 when The Door Within first came out, the lowest any of my books have ever been on Amazon's Sales Rankings was 1200. That number indicates that, out of all 3-4 million books sold on Amazon, The Door Within was selling 1,200th. Anything under 100,000 means your book is selling fairly well.

After going on Fox and Friends, ALL of my books (The 3 Door Within books and Isle of Swords) went lower than they've ever been before. Here are the numbers:
The Door Within Hardcover #741
The Door Within Paperback #933

The Rise of the Wyrm Lord Paperback #638

The Final Storm Hardcover #509

Isle of Swords 10, 212 (And this book is still a PreOrder!)

It'll be interesting to see how long the wave lasts.

Radio Show Appearance Monday!
Not sure how many of you are in the Washington DC, Baltimore area, but I will be on WRBS Radio for an hour--8 to 9 am, Monday 23rd. (The time is Eastern Time).

Friday, July 20, 2007

There and back again... (To borrow a phrase)

The Fantasy 4 Fiction Tour has come to an end. And coming from the author who wrote: Adventures are funny things...they always begin with the unexpected, you'd think I'd know by now that God is in the business of doing the unexpected.

Who knew that by the end of this Tour, The Washington Post would interview me and smack the story on the front page? Who knew that Fox News would see the article and invite me to appear on the nationally televised Fox and Friends show? Who knew that the four authors, from four denominations and four different publishers would become lifelong friends? And who knew a young lady would visit me at a Tour stop and show me once and for all that my stories are being used by God to change lives? Who knew?

God knew.

I am so glad for the technology that allowed us to write about our experience and show you through the Hoppers' fabulous films. You've all seen what God has done. The Revolution in the arts has begun. Are you seeking God's will for your place in it? What story have you to tell? What song have you to sing? What image will you paint (or render)? We can no longer let the world dictate to us what quality art can be. We need to blaze the trail. Are you ready? I am.

Here are the Final Tour Videos:

I'd like to close by rewriting the ending of my favorite fantasy tale. I'm superimposing the adventure I've just returned from. I hope you don't mind my borrowing from the Professor.

But to Sir Wayne the afternoon deepened to a hazy gray as he stood at the Haven, just around the bend from their final event. And as he looked down the traffic-choked network of streets, through the teeming crowds, and up between the towering structures that scraped the sky, he thought he caught a glimpse of something heavenly. There he stood far into the afternoon as his fellow adventurers moved their baggage from one place to another. Then all at once, the four of them knew the time had come. The elf-lord, Bryan, so aloof at times--and careful--but possessing an inner strength to topple strongholds...he stood like a statue, but there was a knowing look in his eyes--a wistful recognition of all they'd been through. Lady Sharon, the tender swordmaiden, skilled with herbs and things of comfort and healing--she gave to all such gifts as she could, but none more precious than the breath of encouragement to a downcast heart. The effervescent, Sir Christopher, darted to and fro crushing all in bear hugs, professing love and truth to all who would dare believe.

Sir Wayne let the moment wash over him, but too soon his companions of a fortnight had all gone their separate ways. But Sir Wayne flew home, and as he strode up the driveway, he saw that there was yellow light and a fire within. The afternoon meal was ready, and he was expected. And Mary Lu drew him in and set him in a chair, and put little Rachel upon his lap.

He drew a deep breath. "Well, I'm back," he said.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Update: My Appearance on Fox and Friends moved to 8:45am. (Eastern Time)

Hello to all! Just a quick note to say thank you for prayers and encouragement. I have had a HUGE sense of peace on me all day. God is in the HOUSE!

Also, please note the new time for my appearance:

Fox and Friends Friday 8:45 AM, Eastern Time. The interview will last about 15 minutes, so tune in early if you can!

Also, not sure of the technology involved, but can anyone record the segment and post it on YouTube?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Comments on the Post Article

If you haven't heard about the Washington Post article and about my appearance on Fox News this Friday morning, see the previous post.

But, if you get a chance, go on over to the Post Article and read some of the comments. The Jesus-haters have literally had a field day. Please consider leaving a comment of your own there so that we can have some Christian reason on the site. But, whatever you do, don't get into a "flame" war. Just state your thoughts respectfully.

Here's the site:

You'll need to get to the end of the article to leave a comment. Thanks.

Fantasy Fiction Tour Update: Hold on to your hats, folks...

Another update? You might be looking at the calendar and thinking, "Oh, the Tour's over." Well, that's what I thought. God {who is in the habit of doing so} had other ideas.

My agent, Gregg Wooding, calls in the middle of our last Tour Signing at the Timeless Treasures Store in downtown Manhattan. "Wayne, you might want to sit down," he says.

"I saw it, Gregg," I say, misunderstanding him. "The Washington Post put the Christian Fantasy article on the front page--my book Isle of Swords, right there on the front page."

He pauses, "Uh, yes, that was great, but there's more."

Stunned silence.

"Fox News just called. They want you to stay in New York so that they can have you as a guest on Fox and Friends, Friday morning 6:45 am."

More stunned silence, punctuated by rapid heart rate and shortness of breath.

This is real. God is making me into one of the small stones that starts an avalanche in the mountains. It's happening. Adventures are funny things...they may appear down a seldom trodden path or even arrive with...a phone call. But they always begin with the unexpected.

So, my friends and family I beg you for this:

Emergency Prayer Request

Please pray that I would speak the words God wants me to speak. Please pray that I could be a spokesperson for God's agenda and not my own. Please pray that I do not develop lockjaw, strep, or some other such thing.

Funny thing: I'm sitting here now, in a little business lounge high in the skyscraping Hotel Pennsylvania deep in the heart of New York City. I'm now committed to being apart from my family for another two days. I miss my wife and my children. My Tourmates, Christopher Hopper, Bryan Davis, and Sharon Hinck have all gone home. I miss them already.

I am a very little man in a great big city. But I am not alone.

I am never alone.

Fantasy Fiction Tour Report, Day 10: Brooklyn Part 2 & Washington Post Article

New Tour Video, click HERE!

The Washington Post article is in today's paper. And get this, my book cover is on the FRONT page! God is electric good. Please check out the article by clicking HERE.

Or, visit:

The article is VERY positive about the Christian Fantasy genre, but doesn't mention Bryan Davis, Sharon Hinck, or Christopher Hopper by name. I am SO bummed about that because these wonderful authors are friends of mine. And without their passion--without Christopher Hopper's publisher Pam Schwagerl pouring her life and resources into the Tour, there wouldn't have been a Tour...and therefore, there wouldn't be anything newsworthy.

Nonetheless, God will work all things together for good. After this Tour, that is one thing I can say with certainty.

Oh, and about the Tour: Brooklyn

We met so many great folks at the Timeless Treasures store. One cool visitor gave us time for a little video interview. When asked why she doesn't read secular fantasy, she responded, "That stuff is crap." Christopher, I hope you got that. Please, tell me you got that. ;-)

{Sigh} Mixed emotions as the Tour comes to an end. One more stop to come. Much more later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Report, Day 10: Brooklyn Part 1

Well, after narrowly avoiding a serious traffic accident on the Belt Parkway near the Verrazano Bridge--cool bridge by the way--just not so cool for the guy in the white car. After a sudden stop, he plowed into the car in front of him. A 3rd car hit him, so he had the Milachi Crunch. We burned a little rubber and burned up a brake pad or two, but were otherwise no worse for wear. Thank you, Jesus.

We're waiting right now, staying in a missions building for Living Waters Fellowship in a not-so-friendly part of downtown. I have to admit I'm not very comfortable having my daughter Kayla here, so any prayers would be MUCH appreciated. Battling dragons is one thing, but gangs with handguns? Yipe. ;-)

We have a signing at Timeless Treasures Christian Bookstore in Brooklyn today at 5pm. Details later if we have internet. Bryan Davis, his daughter, and my daughter and I are staying with Roheryn in NJ this evening.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Report, Day 9: Belair, MD & Newark Delaware

Hey, all! The Fantasy Fiction Tour authors are all camped out in a Panera Bread who's managers allowed us to stay after hours to use their free WiFi! Suh-weet. Today we hit Christopher Matthews Christian Bookstore in BelAir, Maryland. What a great turnout. Met wonderful people, signed a lot of books, let a lot of young people play with sharp, pointy things.

In NewArk, we did a driveby of a Borders. Cool thing: they had 9 of my books FACE OUT. And one of the managers said, "I love your books!"

We spent the evening at Days of Knights--a medieval gaming shop. Double-sweet.

And here's the video link: Fantasy 4 Fiction Tour Video.

Fantasy Tour Update, Day 7 & 8: Richmond, Ellicott City, Washington D.C., and Alexandria

First of all: A HUGE thank you to Christopher Hopper and his wife Jennifer for taking the very little down time we've had on this tour to upload, edit, and post all these AMAZING Fantasy Tour Video Updates. A picture is worth a thousand words, so moving pictures are worth billions. Seriously, these videos capture the excitement and fun of the tour in a way that words don't seem to communicate.

New Tour Videos are Up. Click on the links below to go and see them!

Recap: Richmond, Virginia
We marched into the Barnes and Noble Broad Street to find a beautiful display of our books and absolutely PRIMO placement up front and center in the store. A great day there with special guest visitors once again. This time it was Indie Recording Artist and Award Winning Vocalist, Denise Dovel. Check out Denise's incredible music by clicking HERE. She also happens to be my sister-in-law. We also had a visit from author Katy Pistole. She writes YA books in which horses play a big role. If you are someone who loves horses, check out Katy's books by clicking HERE. We met a lot of wonderful people, including a young DW fan named Dean who's been writing some pretty fantastic stuff himself. The manager was so pleased with the product and sales that he had us sign ALL of the remaining copies of our books. That means they aren't worried about returns. Coolness.

Ellicott City #1: His Way Christian Books
Traffic coming out of Richmond was unreal. We hit Fredericksburg and {sound of tires screeching to a halt}. After several detour attempts and U-turns, we finally got moving again. From there, it was "Mr. Sulu, warp factor 9!" We hauled up 95 to get to His Way--40 minutes late, unfortunately.

I felt horrible because His Way is my home bookstore. They were the first to offer me a booksigning when The Door Within had just released. And Michelle Black, the Author Liason of the local His Way chain has worked SO hard to make this event a reality. Custom, hand-painted banners adorned the ceilings (See top picture), swords along the floor to lead customers to the amazing throne-like signing area in the back--all painstakingly created by Michelle and the wonderful staff of His Way. Oh, and there were readers there too. LOTS of readers. There must have been 40+ folks there when we walked in the door. We signed and chatted and hugged and mugged (for photos, that is) until the doors closed and the store hours ended. It was amazing.

Next Day we zoomed over to First Presbyterian Church of Washington D.C., Condi Rice's church it turns out. Met some wonderful folks there and sold some books, but the highlight was getting to speak to their youth group. 30+ teens in one room. And they were as guarded as they could be when we walked in the room. After we spoke, they were as open as they could be. God was working there, I can tell you that. WHOA!!

Of to Alexandria for a very important event. The Barnes and Nobles Potomac Yard. Beautiful store and wonderful chance to do some readings. But also, a reporter for the Washington Post covered the event and is planning a big article on the Tour. Look for it in the Washington Post Metro/Religion Section Wednesday or Thursday this week. Also, please pray that the article would be a positive feature on Christian Fantasy. Momentum is building, and a good write-up in the post would REALLY be a huge catalyst.

Then {yes, same day} we flew back to Ellicott City for a signing at another one of my "home" stores. They had a SWEET arrangement of our books, once again, front of the store. And people came out in droves. We me tons of neat fokls and sold a gazillion books. Some parents went from author to author, buying each and every book available!

Okay, that's all for now. We're off to Belair, MD, Delaware, and then wrapping up in New York.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Family Break

I've not posted Saturday and Sunday because I'm back in my hometown for this leg of the tour. I'm spending time with my family, but more--MUCH MORE--to come in the coming days. All I can say is God is awesome.