Friday, August 8, 2008

International Christian Retail Show in Orlando, FL July 13-17, 2008

Without much time to recoup from the July 11th book signing at Barnes & Noble to kick off the release of The Molech Prophecy, I was Florida bound.

Whitaker House is an absolutely amazing publisher. You don’t often hear authors dedicate much time to talking about their publisher. The topic is usually about themselves, or their titles. And as much as I want to talk about me, and my book, none of it would be possible without a publisher. And when I was fortunate enough to find a home with Whitaker, this became that much more of a reality.

Please remember, I am a first time novelist. No one really knows Thomas Phillips. Few have heard of The Molech Prophecy.

In May, 2008, Whitaker asked me if I’d be interested in attending the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Orlando, Florida in July. Of course, I told them I’d be honored.
What I did not expect was: 1. Flying first class, 2. Limo at the airport to take me to the hotel, 3. The publicist coordinating a TV, radio and a variety of media interviews, 4. Limo to take me back to the airport, 5. First class flight home …

Unreal. Need to say it again. Unreal.

I knew that fellow suspense novelist, Mark Mynheir was going to be at the conference. Over the last several months Mark has provided support, encouragement, endorsements, and friendship. So I emailed Mark telling him it would be such an honor to finally meet him in person.

Unfortunately, Mark was going to be leaving the conference the day I was arriving. It looked like we might have an hour or two where our attendance would overlap. Of course, my flight was a little delayed. The room at the hotel wasn’t ready …

Mark, a Floridian, called me on my cell. He told me he explained to his wife he might be a little late getting home. Why? He wanted to wait for me. We met in the lobby of the Orange County Convention Center. Working as a Homicide detective, Mark stood a few feet taller than me—which was fine, I looked up to him anyway. We were dressed very similarly, with matching gray-blue shirts and ties … which, as he proceeded to escort me around the conference showroom, was pointed out by each and every person he introduced me to.

Like a mentor, Mark spent more than an hour, leading me from booth to booth, giving me the rundown on how the conference worked, what to expect, what not to expect, and how not to let any of it get to me (good and bad). Mark introduced me to some of his author friends—and my jaw, surely stuck in a dropped-open position—consisting of: Robin Jones Gunn, Terri Blackstock, Dave Lampert, Angela Hunt … ah yeah, hence the “O” shaped mouth …

The days I spent in Orlando went quickly. I was at the conference from open to close. In bed by 10:00 … which made me laugh. Who goes to bed at 10:00? This guy right here!

One of the best parts of the convention was seeing the Whitaker House booth. The set-up was wonderful. And better still, I had the opportunity to meet the staff working behind the scenes to help sell my book.

Please, stop by my Myspace and Shoutlife sites to take a look at the photos from this convention.

Take care, and God bless,


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