Rebecca Halton: One Thing Better Than Success

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Rebecca Halton, author “Words from the Other Woman.”

As I wrote Words from the Other Woman in 2010, my mind filled with excited ideas of celebrity authordom.  I was convinced God was “in it,” so I thought success was imminent.  I believed it would be as effortless as success seemed for other authors.

How little did I know—and how much I had to learn!  Since my book’s release in 2011, I’ve realized my metrics for Haltonsuccess were rooted in worldly measurements.  And I’ve since learned that being an “overnight success” would have ruined me.

Imagine for a second that you haven’t gone running in … well, maybe ever.  Now imagine waking up tomorrow—less than twenty-four hours from now—and having to run a marathon (26.2 miles).

First of all, your body wouldn’t be conditioned for that kind of race.  You’d likely (and painfully) injure yourself.  And you’d probably resent your coach.  I thought I could handle the success that I wanted for my book; thankfully, God, my coach knew better.

Three years later, I’m more capable of handling longer distances.  But that didn’t happen overnight.  I also hadn’t yet proven worthy of certain opportunities.  We are entrusted with chances to impact people’s lives—we are not entitled to them!

Woman CoverThere’s one other reason I wouldn’t trade the past three years for fifteen minutes of fame: people like Rachel.  A couple years ago, I hosted a meet-and-greet at a local bookstore.  I was excited and exact in my planning—and expecting a great turnout.

Hardly anyone showed: not including my mom, and curious bookstore patrons.  But Rachel showed up—with a plate of homemade cookies and a big batch of belief in me.  And she wasn’t any less proud of me because there wasn’t a line out the door.

There was no way either of us could have guessed that a couple of years later, it would be my turn to come to her side.  Even as she lay in the hospital, she couldn’t have been prouder or more encouraging of my writing, of my calling—of me.

And I couldn’t be more grateful, for what she will continue to mean to me.  My dear friend did pass away, but my memory of that day in the bookstore endures.  Because it reminds me of the one thing that will always be better than success:

 

Love.

 

 

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space


Rob Wingerter: The inspiration behind my book

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Rob Wingerter, author “Regaining Your Spiritual Poise.”

In the normal flow of events, ideas are reduced to print and then action on the concepts embedded in the story Rob Wingerter Author Photooccurs, resulting in a tangible byproduct. Ideas have consequences. In the case of my new book, Regaining Your Spiritual Poise, this formula was turned on its head.

As told in the final chapter of my book, through a series of events that demonstrate God’s hand at work, my wife and I became the owners of a large home on a lake, without a concrete vision of what to do with it. We had a strong feeling that the house we named Mahseh (anglicized Hebrew word for “refuge”) was to be used for furthering God’s kingdom, but exactly how was to be a discovery process, unfolding over the next couple of years.

An integral part of this process was to start putting down on paper options and the pros and cons of each. We had always viewed Lake Bruce to be one of God’s “thin places,” where the gap between heaven and earth was just a little thinner than normal. The idea of opening a retreat center surfaced as a natural use for the home and its location. What exactly was entailed by the phrase “retreat center” and what activities were to be conducted was still somewhat of an unknown.

wingerter coverThe more I began to study the history and purpose of the practice of spiritual retreat and Christian spirituality, the more my eyes were opened to this rich tradition—one that appeared to be virtually ignored by the Protestant community at large. As I studied and thought on the subject, I began to write what I thought was going to be a “position paper” for the use of Mahseh. However, every time I thought I had reached a conclusion, the Lord moved me to explore another facet of this potential ministry.

By the time I had finished my first draft, the Lord had removed all concern and confusion. The direction was clear. Something about putting things down on paper had made the mission of Mahseh self-evident. It had also changed me. It had confirmed to me that God had a plan for both Mahseh and for me to spread the message of retreat to a Christian community that had allowed the hectic pace of modern culture to squeeze out any semblance of a concentrated time alone with our Creator.

In the end, a place resulted in a book that resulted in an idea and a mission. Ideas do have consequences.

You can contact Rob at rob@maseh.org and can view Mahseh and learn of the ministry at Mahseh.org

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Beverly D. Allen: God never wastes your life experiences, but will use them for his glory!

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Beverly D. Allen, author “Covenant Dating: The Biblical Path to Marriage.”

I have been a self-published author since 2003. It is still hard to believe when I look at the four books with my name on them.  I may be the writer, but the Holy Spirit is the inspiration for what I write. I could imagine how the holy men of God felt as they spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

I teach Scripture, even present the Gospel of Jesus Christ on various platforms, but the time came when there wascovenant dating cover such an unction in my spirit to write the vision and make it plain. That way, others could read and be encouraged, enlightened, and motivated to follow Christ and know that God’s plan is better than any they could ever design for themselves. He has factored in all our mistakes, failures, and poor choices, using them for His glory, if we will allow Him by obeying His voice.

Well, I obeyed and began to write and was led to self-publish the assignments He gave me. After searching for a self-publisher online, I used a Christian publishing company for the first three, having  had a good experience, but was led to find a new publisher for this new assignment, Covenant Dating, The Biblical Path to Marriage.  I learned of WestBow Press online, a company that had a great connection to Thomas Nelson Publishing—one of the best endorsements any publisher could have.  I, of course, went with them.

That experience is one I have not regretted. I received great encouragement and direction each step of the way.

Allen11(5x7)Investing in God’s vision to me is rewarding personally, because I know that obedience is always the road to travel and let God work out the results of what you do.

The steps to self-publish have opened up new doors I never thought of. As one example, I was contacted by a Christian radio station, KTLW and Worship on the Way Radio Network in Van Nuys, California, to do fifteen four-minute segments for a series on DOING DATING RIGHT. This series aired for the entire month of February 2014, and they want to run them again, possibly this summer.

Look at what one step of faith can do when you believe in the vision and self-publish!

Connect with Beverly through her website beverly-allen.com .

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Mark D. Eckel: I Just Need Time to Think! Reflective Study as Christian Practice

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Mark Eckel, author of “I Just Need Time to Think!” and Professor of Leadership, Education & Discipleship at Capital Seminary & Graduate School, Washington, D.C.

He sat across from me and uttered the famous phrase, “I just need time to think!”Eckel Cover

One of my students said what I often hear.  Life, and education, is moving too fast.

People who care to take their time to study hate to be rushed.

My motivation to write I Just Need Time to Think! is inspired by classes who love to ponder, meditate, contemplate, and deliberate over their studies.

Dr. Mark Eckel (ThM PhD) practices the craft of teaching-learning with students at Capital Seminary and Graduate School as well as other venues.

The book’s subtitle is just as important: Reflective Study as Christian Practice.  For years I have utilized the Hebraic concept of selah to encourage reflection with my students.  Selah is a word that appears often in the Psalms.  I wanted students to stop, think, and consider.

Instead of requiring hundreds of pages, students were asked to read forty, musing over ideas.   I wanted question, stimulation, tension, or compare-contrast.  I wanted students to agree or disagree with me.

  “I had never thought of that before” or “This idea bothered me” or “The page prompted me to write” were introductory clauses which made me smile.

What we reflect upon shows what is valuable to us.  I value time.  I want my students to take it as they study.  I want to give them an interlude. Pause for thought. Take a break.  Take a minute.  Take a breath.

My job as a professor is to help my students succeed.  Students succeed when they do well in their studies.  Doing well in studies takes time.  I believe time for reflection values my students, their time, and their study of God’s Word and His world.

The same student who wanted time to think gave me a Christmas present that year.  He created a metal sign with a phrase I repeat constantly.  But what he wrote on the back of the sign was most important.

“I enjoy not only your teaching style but the time you give us to learn.”

Class dismissed.

Connect with Mark on his website www.warpandwoof.org; and through Twitter (@MarkEckel) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/mark.eckel.92).

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


MOGDA WALKER: Write a book? I’ve been meaning to!

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Mogda Walker, author of “From Faith to Faith.”

Walker book

I’ve always been a voracious reader, so no one was surprised when I majored in English, although writing was a secret passion. While growing up in rural Michigan, I rarely had to look outside my large extended family for entertainment. My younger sister and I would frequently quip, “We’re putting that in our book.” She’s a hoot, and I really have to thank her for jump-starting my writing.  Six years ago, we tossed around topics for a book we planned to co-write and spent hours brainstorming ideas, even setting deadlines. A typical firstborn and total control freak, I finished long before the deadline and waited. And waited. And waited! She’s my baby sister. Need I say more? Smartly, I continued writing.

Three manuscripts later, my long-suffering husband of twenty-six years encouraged me to self-publish.  After doing an exhaustive Internet search for self-publishers, we contacted WestBow Press. A total publishing novice, my hand was gently held. I owe the WestBow Press staff a heartfelt thank-you and a double hand salute for making my dream an awesome reality.  The WestBow Press team of professionals helped me create a wonderful product that I’m honored to promote and share. Being encouraged to have my novel reviewed by KIRKUS REVIEWS and receiving third-party approval has only intensified my enthusiasm.

Mogda Walker (pen name M. Lynn Walker) at a book signing in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Mogda Walker (pen name M. Lyn Walker) at a book signing in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

My first novel, “From Faith to Faith,” arrived in early August and contains two novellas set in rural southwestern Michigan. In both stories, readers are introduced to characters dealing with sin, others seeking redemption, and those who’ve acknowledged God’s lordship in their lives. I have fond Midwestern memories, and in my youth, I attended a wonderful community church. The pastors are now deceased. Thus, I created Indigo Beach, a fictional town also located on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan and the fictional New Life Full Gospel Church, pastored by Deon Bradford. Working in lay ministry for many years, I’ve come to understand that God isn’t looking for perfection but rather obedience, which is far greater than sacrifice, as 1 Samuel 15:22 states. I have also come to realize that He does not call the qualified but rather qualifies the called. My spiritual journey is ever-changing.  And trust me, God has a keen sense of humor. On January 19, 2014, my husband and I are being ordained in ministry.  Never saw that one coming. Writing faith-based fiction is my ministry.  Look at God!

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Gail Lipe: Self-Publishing? No Way?

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Gail Lipe, author of “No Time to Quit

“Self publishing? There is no way I am going to have my work associated with some of the garbage that is self published.”

Author Gail Lipe with her mother Gail Johnson.

Author Gail Lipe with her mother Gail Johnson.

That was how I felt until I realized how much the publishing industry has changed. In the past, self publishing meant nothing in the book industry, and could even be a writing death sentence. Now, authors are discovered through self publishing.

The journey of writing my book, “No Time to Quit: Life in a Broken Package”, didn’t start until about 10 years ago. My sister and I took our mother to see the Statue of Liberty, and as we drove from Minnesota to New York, I interviewed Mom, recording her life experiences on tape. A few years later, Mom and I went to her home town in Kansas where I continued the research.

What is so great about my mother’s story? The fact that she is alive is a miracle. She was a premie twin born in a small country hospital in 1932. The hospital lacked the facilities to take care of a tiny one-pound-nine-ounce baby. She died shortly after birth, and a nurse disobeyed the doctor’s orders to call the morgue and breathed life back into her. That is the first of many miracles that paved the way for my mother to live a long life.

It took a while for me to realize how much her story affects others. My mother was the guest speaker at many functions, which is where I realized her story is unique. Watching others as her story unfolded I saw that the children were quiet and adults were riveted to the examples of God’s work in Mom’s life. That is when I decided her story can help others.

The manuscript was completed about three years ago, and I began sending it to agents and publishers, but no one was interested. Then last year, I ran across the Women of Faith writing contest. It sounded like the perfect place to submit the story, and I was hoping to win a publishing package.

I didn’t place in the contest, so I dismissed the whole thing. A few weeks later I got a call from Westbow Press, the company working with Women of Faith on the contest. I ignored the calls and stated I was not interested in self publishing. Then at the end of February, I got a another call while I was sitting in a hospital room with my mother. For some reason, I decided to talk with the man and explained Mom’s story to him. He choked up.

The next day, hospital staff said Mom is an inspiration, and I shared those comments with family and friends. Someone offered to help finance the project. It was like all the pieces were coming together and God was telling me that now is the time.

I received my first printed copy of the book in July, and it is beautiful. Working with each individual at Westbow Press along the way has been a positive experience. They took my manuscript, my ideas and my artwork and created a book I am happy with.

- Gail Lipe

Connect with Gail at her website www.naturescanvas.org; and through Twitter (@GailLipe) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/NoTimeToQuit).

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Rick Redner: “We were called to write a book to help others cope with prostate cancer.”

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Rick Redner, co-author (along with his wife Brenda) of “I Left my Prostate in San Francisco — Where’s Yours?

Rick and Brenda Redner.

Disruptive moments are what Gordon MacDonald, author of The Life God Blesses, describes as an unpleasant slice of life . Disruptive moments frequently occur in the context of what begins as a routine day. Suddenly and unexpectedly, something happens that brings about an unwanted, unwelcome, and sometimes catastrophic change in your circumstances, health, or well-being.

On one such routine day for me, I had a doctor’s appointment to obtain a prescription refill. While I sat in the waiting room, thanking God for my current state of good health, I could never have imagined that was I was fifteen minutes way from experiencing a disruptive moment.  During my appointment, my urologist examined my prostate. He felt a “suspicious lump,” which a biopsy would later confirm was prostate cancer.

RednerCoverPhilippians 4:6–7 came to mind. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (NKJ, Thomas Nelson). Unfortunately, I didn’t experience a reduction in anxiety or the peace of God.

I knew too many people who had died from a variety of different cancers.  Additionally, I’d spent two years as a medical social worker. I left that career, and my wife left her career in medical oncology because of our mutual need to get away from suffering and death. The diagnosis of prostate cancer brought these words to my mind: excruciating pain, suffering, and death.

Based on my experiences with cancer, I felt fear, terror, and endured many sleepless nights. The fact that my faith made little or no difference in the way I was coping intensified my fears. During this phase in my journey, I prayed for three things: wisdom—because I needed to chose a way to treat my cancer; peace—because sleepless nights were interfering with my ability to cope; and the ability to find humor everywhere I could. Our prayers and the prayers of others were answered.

It became evident to us we were called to write a book to help others cope with prostate cancer. Since we’ve written our book, we’ve had the opportunity to share our experiences on radio talk shows.  I’ve been invited to write articles for magazines. I designed and host an online, faith-based pre- and post-prostate surgery support forum, which receives thousands of page views per month.  This month, our local newspaper is doing a feature story about our ministry. We stand in awe at the number of doors that continue to open for us to help others. None of this would have or could have happened if we ignored the call to write our book.

Connect with Rick Redner: http://www.whereisyourprostate.com/

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.

 

 

 


Becky Alexander: 1,264 Days

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Pastor Becky Alexander, author of One Smile, One Arm. Becky’s book includes a collection of stories that originated on her blog

I waited one thousand two hundred sixty-four days for it, and when it came, I wasn’t home.

My book One Smile, One Arm began as a single post on a new blog on December 27, 2009. I actually have someone I don’t like very much to thank for it, though I will never admit that to him. This person had done some infuriating things and my stress level was through the roof. I decided as a distraction I would write a story about my life, something in

Pastor Becky Alexander offers 25 heartwarming and humorous stories about life with a short arm.

Pastor Becky Alexander offers 25 heartwarming and humorous stories about life with a short arm.

which he could not have an ounce of input. As I wrote, the words poured out onto the page. They were words about my first job, and my first experience of discrimination…

I looked at her blankly and blurted out, “What?” Confused, I replayed the words in my head. I couldn’t process them. I struggled, “What does my arm have to do with custard-filled doughnuts?” I simply could not make the connection. 

In that one unexpected moment, I was introduced to the rest of my life.

I titled the story “Custard-Filled Doughnuts” and you can find it on page 25 in my book. Writing the story energized me, renewed my wounded spirit. So I kept doing it. Three weeks later, I posted “Capitol Hill. ” Six weeks after that, I posted “Dumbest Question.” I continued writing and I never stopped.

Over a period of three years, I accumulated twenty-five stories about my life experiences with one arm. I toyed with the idea of getting them published, even submitted them a few places. One of my posts, “Friday Night Lights,” was included in a book called When God Makes Lemonade. But this January, as I listed my goals for 2013, I got serious about it. Goal #4 stated: Publish One Smile, One Arm.

Becky shot this photo upon receiving the first copy of her book.

The trouble was I had no idea how to publish a book. I just dove in. I found a publisher, WestBow Press. I attended the “Called to Write Conference” in Pittsburg, Kansas to learn all I could. I pushed through the submission phase, the editorial phase, the cover design phase, and the book interior design phase. Then in early June, I received this email message:

Production of your book is now complete and we are ready to send the book files to printer. Congratulations on the publication of your book!

Wow. Wow. Wow. That’s all I’ve got to say. On June 12, 2013, a package arrived in the mail—and I wasn’t home to receive it. I guess I can’t complain, as I was in Hawaii. My daughter Cassie opened the package and texted me a picture.

I have loved this journey of 1,264 days. So now what? On to the next journey!

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Alice Anderson: Author of more than 60 books shares why she chose WestBow Press

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Alice Anderson; who’s authored more than 60 books — this summer penning eight simultaneously. As a ghostwriter, she’s never credited with many of her literary creations.  Alice did put her name on one of her latest works though, “Through the Bible in High Heels,” recently self-published with WestBow Press.

Anderson coverThe bottom line on why I chose WestBow Press?  It was the marketing and distribution services that lured me in.  If I’m going to continue to support myself by authoring books, I need to concentrate on the actual writing process and on marketing my services as an author-for-hire or ghostwriter. Obviously I do as much marketing of my own books as I can: speaking at women’s groups, writers’ groups, and hosting book signings I’ve arranged across New England. I also knew I could not get as wide a distribution by myself as a royalty publisher could provide. That was especially relevant for my latest book, Through the Bible in High Heels, published by WestBow Press.

Nothing in the literary world is as difficult for me as catching my own typos and bloopers.  Even though I always read a finished manuscript aloud to catch things the eyes miss, “oopsies” still fly under my radar.  My eyes look at my manuscript and see it as a mother sees her only child: perfect—except it almost never is.  The editorial services at WestBow caught things I would have never noticed, because I’m too close to my own work.  And they did it nicely, without making me feel like a neophyte.

Writing a book during your lifetime is quite an accomplishment, Alice Anderson’s written more than 60.

The WestBow staff is wonderful to work with!  (Yes, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition.  Horrors!  This is one author who’s been around the printing press a few dozen times, but please remember, I’m writing to you as a friend, not a grammar guru.)  Every person I interfaced with at WestBow was pleasant, efficient, professional, and excited about my book.  That meant a great deal to someone working at home alone.  I really didn’t feel alone on this project, because WestBow staff were a phone call away, cheering me on and answering my concerns as they arose.

By the time the complimentary copies of High Heels arrived, I actually felt sadness at not being able to work with them anymore!  Maybe I should write another book and have WestBow publish it? Actually, Through the Bible in Work Boots is already written and waiting in the wings. Too many husbands wanted to know when I was going to write one for them. Can the teenagers be far behind?

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Gordon C. Helsel: Fulfilling a Battlefield Promise to God

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Gordon C. Helsel; Vietnam veteran, speaker and author of  ”The Day God Showed Up.” 

The motivation for my book, The Day God Showed Up, began with an encounter in the confines of my kitchen while my wife and I enjoyed our first cup of coffee for the day. Suddenly a strange quiet came over me and I could not hear a word my wife was saying. Even the usual barking and playing of our Yorkshire Terriers became inaudible. The room was completely silent.

I was in sort of a fog and I heard an inner voice saying very plainly: “Do you remember what you promised Me 40-plus years ago?”

I knew right away what the message meant. I had made a promise to God when I was a U.S. Army sergeant bleeding to death in the Vietnam War. I said, “If you get me out of this, I will do whatever you want me to do!”

After I heard the Voice, my experiences in Vietnam came flooding back.

February 27, 1968 was the worst day of my life. I was convinced it would be my last day on Earth. Yet as I reveal in the book, God had mercy on me and He showed up to save my life in a most surprising way.

Our mission on that day was to find and destroy the 2nd Battalion of hardened, well-trained North Vietnamese. It was about midday as my company moved toward the summit of a vast mountain. I saw my friends Mike and Art die and, as I describe in the book, I will always remember their faces. I’m not alone with these memories. Virtually all combat veterans forever remember their fallen brothers in arms.

After Mike and Art died, I ran firing to my left. The first bullet hit my left side, right under my heart. Somehow I got to my feet and started to run again. The next bullet struck my left forearm. That took me down and I couldn’t move because blood gushed from my wound with every beat of my heart.

After the miracle that saved my life, someone picked me up and took me to safety. I couldn’t speak, but as I stared at the sky, I made my promise to God.

Many miracles took place on that trail. The interaction with folks who’ve read my book is simply phenomenal. Some told me about how God showed up for them in their times of crisis. Many said they couldn’t put the book down. Many cried and said they recommend it to other veterans to help them heal from their battle scars.

I take no credit for the book. I wrote it to thank God and everyone who honorably served our country. I pray that everyone who reads it will fully understand: To God be the glory!

- Gordon C. Helsel
11/4/2013

Note: Mr. Helsel will be holding a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Alexandria, Va., on Nov. 10 (details); and a Veteran’s Day event at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Va., on Nov. 11 (details). More information on Mr. Helsel is available at www.TheDayGodShowedUp.com.

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 300- 450 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


WestBow Authors Attend the Book-to-Screen PitchFest New York 2013

Shauna Mayer, author of WestBow Press title “Confessions of 5 Christian Wives,” practices her pitch with Keith Ogorek.

This past weekend, around 100 authors came together in the heart of Times Square in New York City at the Marriott Marquis for the Book to Screen PitchFest event, where authors learn how to pitch their book’s movie, television and theater potential to entertainment representatives and then have the chance to pitch their stories. WestBow Press was represented at this event by two authors who pitched their Christian stories to representatives from a range of top companies in television, film, and talent management.

During the event, authors heard from Robert Kosberg, known as Hollywood’s “King of the Pitch.” Mr. Kosberg has had years of experience pitching stories that ultimately are made in to movies. On Saturday morning he gave an entertaining and informative lecture, stressing the importance of having a great idea that you can present in a compelling way. After the lecture, the group divided into three rooms to practice delivering their two minute pitch directly to either Mr. Kosberg; Keith Ogorek, Senior VP of Global Marketing for Author Solutions; or Caroline Weiss, Author Solutions’ Director of New Media.

Kenneth Regan, author of “A Christmas Miracle Comes to Holy Nativity,” attended the recent PitchFest in New York City.

During this practice round they were given  advice about improving their pitch, and benefited from hearing the advice and pitches for the other authors in their group. WestBow Press author Shauna Mayer, who wrote her non-fiction book “Confessions of 5 Christian Wives,” presented her pitch and was told during the practice round that it sounded like it would make a great faith-based reality TV show. After the practice round and Mr. Kosberg’s lecture, Mayer and the other authors were able to revise their pitches and present their ideas in the most compelling way.

The afternoon brought the main event, a speed-dating style series of pitching books to New York entertainment representatives. Using their new skills, authors told their story in two minutes or less to nine different companies. The pitches were scored.  Representatives interested in any of the stories pitched, have the option of requesting a full manuscript for review.

Kenneth Regan, author of “A Christmas Miracle Comes to Holy Nativity” from WestBow Press, said this about his pitching experience:

“I entered the event hotel with trepidation not knowing what lay ahead.  But from my first greeting at the event, I was made to feel comfortable.  The opening night was a chance to meet other authors, which I found to be a very supportive community.  We also met the speakers who would lead us through the weekend.  They were informative and made themselves available throughout the event to answer any questions, offer suggestions, and calm nerves.  The advice and coaching made us well prepared for our pitches.  While the pitching experience was quite nerve-wracking, it also proved to be exhilarating.  The event was put together well, making for a positive overall experience.  Even if nothing else comes from it, it proved to be a valuable learning experience.  And who knows what it may lead to?”

 


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