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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Fan Fest 2008!!

Brother in Arms, Bryan Davis just posted a fantastic article on his readers. And he is SPOT-ON. It sounds simplistic and obvious to say, without readers, authors would be no where. But think about this: without lots of readers, publishers won't want our books. End writing career and fracture a lot of dreams. Yes, I write for God first and always, and I am grateful for the chance to do what I love to do. But honestly, I don't love writing just for writing sake. I love writing for the impact. I love knowing that thoughts in my wee brain somehow translated meaningfully into someone else's mind and heart. I love hearing from readers about how my books added something they appreciate to their lives.

But ever since The Door Within came out in 2005, readers have come through in extraordinarily huge ways. To date, The Door Within and Isle of Swords books have sold over 120,000 copies, have appeared on CBA's Bestseller list SEVEN times--as high as #2, have appeared in The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Washington Post, and even on national TV! None of this happens without my readers.

The most incredible thing to me is that readers zealously and selflessly have gone out of their way to tell me what they think about the books. Readers have gone out of their way to promote and tell others about my books. In the recent Treasure Hunt Contest, 32 readers went absolutely NUTZ blogging, writing, phoning--basically grabbing anyone who would listen to talk about my books. You guys are crazy. But crazy is good. And I love my crazy readers!

So in this post, I'd like to begin a sort of Fan Fest! The following are pictures and reviews of readers and fans who have been so meaningful to me over the last three years. I've quoted actual fan mail several places, but left out names for security. That said, I won't ever forget you and what you've done for me.

Some readers even create (I mean home made arts and crafts create) props, banners, signs, and fliers to prepare the world for upcoming signing events! You know who you are...wink, wink!

Some readers have dreams of being published authors and come talk to us about it. SO glad! Kindle that flame. We need more authors of GREAT books!

"Dear Wayne,
I just wanted to write to you and let you know how much my son and I enjoyed your books. I bought your first book for [my son] which you autographed. He read it quickly, which is unusual for him. [my son] is 22 and not much of a reader but he sailed through your book. He gave it to me to read which I too sailed through. He got very busy with work after that and it took quite a while for him to start book 2. However, when he did, he finished it in about a week, I too finished it in about a week. He gave me book three the day before I finished the second book and I started book 3 last Sunday. I finished it last night. We both thought they were wonderful and we were kind of sorry to see it end. [my son] and I haven't talked to much about Christianity for several years as he has turned away from that, I hope for just a time. However, your books opened up a door of great conversation between us. Your books have me so excited that I'm telling anyone that will listen about them. A must read if you ask me. Thank you so much for opening a door between my son and I that has been closed for a long time. Never Alone!"

Let's not forget the parents of these younger readers. Many times, the parents shell out major $$$ to provide reading material for their kids. That's commitment. Thank you, Parents!

"I bought this for my son, but found that it is a GREAT read-aloud for the entire family. I wish there were more. This makes for very good discussion and I would recommend it as a book for any book club, young or old."

"As I told you while there, your books have changed us as a family.....A year and a half ago I became a single mom, and there were days in the past year when I wondered if I would make it, how I would make it, and in the midst of that your first book, The Door Within, showed up----it gave me and the kids hope and we now know like never before that we are "never alone!" -----thank you for your evident love of the Lord and your love for children-----it shows! May God bless you and your family...... We are praying for you..............................
With much thankfulness for you and your books,"

"Dear Mr. Batson,

I just have to say thank you so much for your FANTASTIC Door Within

I have an 11 yr. old 6th grade boy who has never cared for reading.
He'd much rather be outside riding his bike or playing football.
So every school year it is a struggle to get him to do his required
reading. Well last year we came across your wonderful book, The Door
Within, and he and I were both hooked! He absolutely loved it! I
couldn't wait till the next books came out and devoured each as soon
as I could get them. Of course now I have trouble not telling him
what's going to happen.

I am just so thankful that he has found something that he is excited
about reading! He has actually sat down and read for 2+ hours at a
time - all on his own. We didn't have to push and prod him to do it.

Maybe God was just waiting for the right book to hook my son, one
that He would approve of. Maybe now my son will love reading things
that draw him closer to God.

So again, thank you and keep the great books coming!"

"Wow!!!!!!! What a great story teller. I bought this series for my son. I like to read them first, and what an awesome story. I was hooked right away. Thank you for they great wholesome read ;O)"

"This is the best book I've ever read. I cried tears of happiness on the last book but…you should NOT read them out of order."

"You will never get bored with this series. It is my favorite series. It is a compelling book that makes you feel like you were actually there. I recommend this book to anyone, everyone will love it. (If you order the first book, make sure you order the other three, I had to wait a whole week to read the second book, don't go through what I went through:-)"

"I LOVED all three books!! This book teaches that we are really fighting in a spiritual battle, and the only way to survive is to trust in the One True King! This would also make a WONDERFUL movie! Never Alone!"

"This is one of the best books I have ever read.. and believe me, that is saying something! I've been devouring books since I was 5 yrs old, and have probably read every good one out there! I'm 15, and The Door Within, and The Rise of the Wyrm Lord are highly recommended by me and my friends (I'm asking for the "Final Storm" for Christmas). I'm also a "safety" police when it comes to romantic books, and while there is a "boy-girl" relationship, it is not dangerous and is safe for all ages. This book never got boring, but kept me laughing all night long (yes, I read it in one day). There have been many times where I've just picked it up to make myself laugh. I've never tired of reading it over's still as good as when I first opened it. God has truely blessed the author, and I believed it came out in this book! "

"I wish I could give this book a 10 or higher! Not just a 5! I don't know if you (the author) will read this, but I want to thank you. I was in a very, dry spell in my Christian walk when I first picked up this book. I read the book in about three days, I even brought it to work to read on my break with me. Your book helped my realize that I was just being selfish, and ignoring the true God! I look forward to reading the other two books! Thank you! And God bless!"

"Your stories are fun for all ages. The only problem I have with your writing is this: I start one of your novels, and can not put it down! Of course, my young children love to snuggle with me while I read, so in a few years they will no doubt be avid readers themselves. It's nice to be able to discuss a book with my teenager as well. Thank you Mr. Batson, for sharing your incredible gift with us, your fans! I have started to pass your books around to the nurses and doctors I work with. Almost everyone has gone to buy more of your books after getting a taste."

"I truly cried during this book. It all touched my heart so strongly! I couldn't stop crying. My sister asked me if I was upset. I answered her: "No, Maggie. No, far from it!" I knew in my head, I was certain at that point, and still so certain, that I loved God. I love God!!! And I know that he loves me. I am certain for the first real time in my whole life.

And that is what I have to thank you for. You brought me, not back to God, but fully to God. You are doing wonderful work by spreading God's messages, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that thinks that. You set such an amazing role model to young Christians of what a child of God looks like. I would hug you now, if I could!”

“I just needed to tell you my son finished the Door Within series last night. And at our night prayer he looked over to us and said these books have changed him. He had tears in his eyes. I asked him how and he couldn't quite find the right words but he said that the path between Jesus and he has become closer. What more could a parent want from a story. And we were worried he wouldn't find anything after reading Harry Potter!! My son is named Gabriel meaning strength of God. And I know these books have played an important part of his spiritual journey. Gabe is a 9 year old boy ready for the King's army. Thank you for opening a door for Gabe to some of heaven's mysteries that his father and I could never in a million words explain.”
"You have no idea who I am but, I LOVE THE DOOR WITHIN TRILOGY! Dude it was awesome, we had to write a book report at my school and I did it about The Door Within Trilogy :). Also another guy in my class did it about The Door Within too, Cool huh? And I was wondering if you could write a fourth book to the trilogy?? Well, its you choice im just giving you ideas. PLEASE WRITE ANOTHER im desperate lol ill even donate if i have to. Ill try to think of names you could name it like umm... The Rise of King Eliam maybe? Well i dont know about the title cause uve got to make that get the readers attention you know? And your the author soooo... your choice. Remember I can donate to you if itll help you make another, but it wouldnt be too too much because i would donate with my chore money or something. Even if its not much money that I donated, I still would like giving you it."

"I recently finished the marvelous "Isle of Swords" just last night, very late, so hooked I couldn't put the book down...or keep my fingers from shaking. I can't stop raving over this book... It has in a very short time become my favorite book ever. I'm counting the days until the sequel premieres. If you want a fantastic book to read, do I have a book for you!"

"his book, and the other two in the series, are definitely some of the best books I've ever read! Wayne Thomas Batson writes amazing Christian fantasy! I recommend this series to anyone and everyone! Similar to the DragonKeeper chronicles, and the Binding of the Blade series, Wayne Thomas Batson weaves together both his faith, and his awesome talent of writing, to produce these unmatched fantasy masterpieces. They're well worth the time and money. Once you pick them up, you won't want to put them down. They're thrilling and captivating from cover to cover."
I would be seriously remiss if I did not mention my favorite reader and biggest fan. Love you, Gorgeous! 1C13


Unknown said...

You rock!!!! Thank you so much for giving us a shout out!! Thanks for writing books that make you travel to another world, and make you stay up through the night, flipping those last pages. Books that unlike other Christian novels are popular even with non Christians. When a book club with two members who are atheist and Wiccan, and for the first time, they seriously have a fight over your books, you know you have a hit. You know your books make an impact when your best friend who previously questioned God and wondered if there even was one, comes up to you, asking about God. I thank you for all the lives you have enlightened, for writing awesome books that should not even be labeled as a Chrstian novel since anyone who loves a good story, loves it!!! Keep writing!!! God Bless!!!

Shane Deal said...

Wish you could have seen the smile your post put on my face reading that. Keep up the excellent work mate! I should share The Door Within Trilogy with my pastor, he would probably like them. :D

Roheryn said...

They are Awsomeful!!!
When a friend and I went to the midnight party for HP7, I gave her a copy of The Door Within, she absolutely devoured it! She was halfway done by 11!

Shelby Marie said...

I just wanted to thank you again for the profound way that your books have changed my life. I speak the truth when I say that I wouldn't be where I am today without you and your books! May the hand of God remain upon you and bless you as you continue to write for the One True King!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I had goosebumps and now I'm all teary-eyed reading those wonderful comments from readers! I have to agree with all of them, Wayne, your books have an enormous impact on EVERY person who reads them. I own all of your books, and they sit on my bookcase next to Bryan Davis, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I've told everyone I know about your books, and I plan to add copies to my classroom library soon.

The Lord has truly blessed your words. I pray for His continued blessings in your life.

P.S. I can't wait to read Isle of Fire!

Unknown said...

That was just a truly amazing post.

Anonymous said...

That was an awesome post. I loved your Door Within books, but haven't read Isle of Swords yet. Like Justin B. said, thank you for writing stories that take us on adventures to other worlds! You rock!

Josh said...

Mr. Batson I cant tell you enough how much your books influenced my life and relationship with God. Just another thanks =]

Anonymous said...

Your books are out of this world! (sometimes literally lol) I'm honored to be a fan of your work, and your blog encourages me so much when I need it most. You're truly an inspirational guy!
Keep being awesome, and God's blessing be poured down on you and yours!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That's so awesome! You've touched so many lives with your books!--mine included! I guess I never mentioned this on one of my previous posts, but The Door Within Trilogy (esp. The Final Storm) encouraged me in my faith as well. Thank you for all of your wonderful books! Keep up the good work!

Bryan Davis said...

Nice post, Wayne. Isn't it great to get so many thrilling comments from readers?

I have been including a reader comment in each issue of my newsletter, but it's really effective to open the floodgates like you did. Maybe I'll do the same on my blog in the near future. Good idea.

Keep working faithfully, Sir Wayne. I am right here with you!

Araken said...

Thanks for writing these books, they really make me think. They're sooo inspiring, and they really make me want to become an author. I'm losing serious sleep, reading 'till 11 PM. Don't tell my mom!

P.S. WTB- Thanks for letting me put a link to your site on my blog!

everlastingscribe said...

Having met quite a few of your fans m'lord, all I can say is that you are blessed on all sides by them, and it is delightful to see you blessing them back through your books, and this post.

Anonymous said...

We have the Door Within and Isle of Swords at my school Library, and everyone LOVES them! I haven't even seen them sitting on the Library shelf, because as soon as they're returned, they are checked right back out again!

Anonymous said...

Those are awesome! The Door Within has changed my spiritual outlook. Never Alone is a constant saying between my sibling and I, and through struggles in my life, I think back to certain characters and say, "Well, would Captain Valithor have said?" or "How would Aidan have acted?" or "What would Nock or Bolt done in that situation?" Your books are on the top of my favorites list. Every person that I let borrow my books said they thought it was great. For swords class (yes, I take a swords class) we had to make shields and could use any symbol we wanted as our emblem. I chose the sun rising between two mountain peaks. I am seriously crazy about your books. They have helped me in my relationship with God, through tough times, and provided excellent entertainment. Thank you, Wayne, for writing your books. I absolutely adore them.

P.S. Any news on the movie?

Shane Deal said...

Yes! If there is one thing I really, really, love about the books is the phrase "Never Alone!"

Such a simple yet profound message! It strengthens, encourages, and reminds us of it's wonderful truth!

Never Alone!


Araken said...

Yeah, I love that phrase. I'm trying to add it to my list of commonly used expressions. Where'd you come up with it? Was it out of the blue? That's how I came up with Araken. I misspelled Arkansas...

WayneThomasBatson said...

Justin, thanks for taking my books into dark places so that others CAN read them. Those nonChristian book club members wouldn't have known if it weren't for you. You are a true Knight of Alleble.

SJ: Glad you liked the post. But I bet my smile was bigger than yours. lol

Ro: You took The Door Within to a Potter Party!?? Too cool.

Shelby: thank you for that blessing. You are an amazing swordmaiden. And folks, don't be surprised to see one of Shelby's books hit the stands one day.

Kel: having my books on the same shelf with those giants is surreal to me. I still look at the books and think, "Is this for real?" and "God, why'd you pick me for this?"

And thank you SO much for telling others about the books.

CFA: Thanks, my friend. Never alone.

FirePhoenix: Thanks! I really believe that's one of the reasons that fantasy stories appeal to so many---we were all made for another world.

Josh: that means so much to me. Sharpen your blade, lad. The adventure's just begun.

Thank you, Brett: for the kindness and the blessing. And keep up the good work with your own writing.

Strivin': thanks!

Hannah: I am so glad to provide some encouragement. You are indeed never alone.

More responses tomorrow. I've got to go write. lol

Anonymous said...

The Door Within books are the best books I have ever read. They helped me realize that we really are fighting in a never-ending spiritual battle and the only way to survive is to take comfort and trust in the One who will never leave or abandon us. I am trying to witness to someone at my school. He is really searching for something that he can depend on. I am going to recommend these books to him. I pray for him every day. He kind of reminds me of Robby, actually. But anyway, thank you so much for sharing this with us! And thank you for The Door Within!
Never Alone!

WayneThomasBatson said...

Bryan, you are SO right. Thanks for writing the post on your blog that reminded me of what great readers we have. Not only are their notes thrilling and fun to read, but honestly, they are fuel for the future. I LOVE to write, and I intend to serve God with my stories, but there are times when it feels like work--hard work. And there are times when I wonder if it's all worth it. When I read letters from my readers, it reminds me of what it's all about--not praise for me (though that's certainly appreciated)--but glory for the first Storyteller and Author.

Araken, thanks so much for putting up the link--and the great Isle of Swords review. You rock!

Scribe: I really appreciate that. I imagine you've probably turned more than a few folks on to my books. And for that, I call thee "The Sower." ;-)

Lalaith: That's great news about your school library. You should ask your school librarian to email me. I could send them some signed stickers for their books.

Hi Flinn: Thanks for telling me. When I wrote the books, Never alone was just something that I felt was essential. But I really wanted to put that to the test. I wanted some characters in VERY tough situations, spots where they would FEEL very alone. I am learning (often the hard way) that the tough times when I don't FEEL anything from God are actually opportunities to apply faith. Faith is the evidence of things unseen, the confidence in that which is promised---Never alone is God's promise to us.

Rebecca: thank you and thanks for telling us about your friend. We'll pray for him. You keep praying and being a good friend to him. Remember, some of the most reluctant, strident people turn out to be the most incredible Christians. The Apostle Paul comes to mind...