An Amazing Week

I had an amazing week last week. Filled with networking, inspiration, and a little media attention, it was quite the departure from my normal life of cleaning dishes, shuttling kids, and changing diapers.

Tuesday, I headed to Schaumburg, IL for the Catholic Marketing Network’s annual trade show, and Catholic Writers’ Conference Live. This was the first such conference I’ve attended and, while some of my expectations were not fulfilled (like the ridiculous notion that I would have time in the evenings to write), other expectations were far exceeded.

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From L-R, Me, Jeannie Ewing, and Amy Cattapan

One of the best parts was meeting lots of other authors whom I’ve previously known only through social media, most notably Jeannie Ewing (author of From Grief to Grace) and A.J. Cattapan (author of the YA novel, Angelhood.)

Then there was the fact that I

I gave Fr. Calloway (and many other influential figures) a copy of A Single Bead, and got this picture. He was so nice. Prayers that the many books given away bear fruit!
I gave Fr. Calloway (and many other influential figures) a copy of A Single Bead, and got this picture. He was so nice. Prayers that the many books given away bear fruit!

got several  advance reading copies of upcoming books. How cool is that??!! Not available in stores yet, y’all, but I’ve got it sitting in my pile of “Books to Read ASAP.” The two I’m most excited about are Kelly Wahlquist’s Walk in Her Sandles – Experiencing Christ’s Passion Through the Eyes of Womenand Fr. Don Calloway’s, Champions of the RosaryI’ll do my best to post reviews once I finish each book!

One of the many beautiful mosaics at the Shrine.
One of the many beautiful mosaics at the Shrine.

Daily Mass four days in a row was lovely, and there was an adoration chapel right there at the trade show. We also did a pilgrimage to  Marytown, and the shrine of St. Maximillian Kolbe.

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With Bonnie Rodgers of Catholic TV

As far as that media attention goes, first, I spoke with Bonnie Rodgers of Catholic TV, America’s largest online Catholic television network. Bonnie is one of those people that has the gift of making you feel like you are one of her dearest friends from the moment you meet her. As you would expect under such circumstances, I think the interview went well.

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With Doug Keck, on EWTN Bookmark

Next came an interview with Doug Keck of EWTN’s Bookmark. This was an interview that almost didn’t happen, since EWTN rarely covers fiction. Fortunately, the producer gave me a window of opportunity to present A Single Bead to Mr. Keck. I had a long while to wait before I got to speak to him, all the while sitting perched on a chair in the booth and feeling rather awkward. I spent the time praying that if God wanted me to be on, Mr. Keck would be open to it. And, Voila! I got on.

Finally, on Thursday, I was interviewed on a local Chicago Catholic radio station, WFSI fm.  I confess that by the end of three shows, I started to feel a wee bit repetitive, but in this show I had a chance to share the story of God’s providence through our recent family events. I feel so blessed to be able to look back and see His hand so clearly, and love sharing!

All three interviews will air sometime in the next month. I’ll keep you posted!

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Posing with my favorite book, wearing a fabulous consignment store find.

Wednesday evening, there was a “Meet the Author” book signing event, during which I signed about 150 copies of A Single Bead. Believe it or not, my hand barely got tired, although my handwriting did get rather sloppy. It was actually a lot of fun – if exhausting – to get to talk to so many people about my book, share my  “elevator pitch,” and hear a little bit about their lives and the people who they thought might enjoy reading about Kate and her grandma’s rosary bead.

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With Sr. Martha and Sr. Susan, at the Pauline Books and Media booth

I had a wonderful dinner with two sisters from the Daughters of St. Paul, and was blessed to hear the stories of their callings into religious life. I shared several meals with likeminded Catholic authors, from whom I was able to learn and be inspired.

It was an insanely busy week. I didn’t think it was possible, but I came home feeling even more exhausted than before I left. However, I was also rejuvenated and exhilarated, determined to develop a family schedule that will support family peace and my writing, with lots of new ideas for promotion and marketing of A Single Bead and future projects, and ready to face writer’s block (or “writer’s dam,” as author Karina Fabian prefers to call it)!

May it all be done for the Glory of God!

 

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2 thoughts on “An Amazing Week”

  1. Stephanie,
    It was such a joy to meet you in person finally! I know what you mean about a strange departure from housework, caregiving, and changing diapers! Everything was so blessed, and I’m really excited that you and I live fairly close in proximity, so that we can continue building our friendship!
    Blessings,
    Jeannie

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