Friday, October 9, 2009

My Friend . . . Sara Mills

Back at the '07 conference, I met an author named Sara Mills. I vaguely recall hearing her tell us about her books, though I confess I didn't pay a whole lot of attention. To the point where, when her debut novel arrived in my mailbox from her publisher, I didn't realize I'd met the author. But the book looked cool, very film noir, so I settled down with Miss Fortune and proceeded to be wowed.

I wrote a review, sent it to the publisher, and emailed Sara with it too. I actually had the thought of Did I volunteer to read this? Is she in ACFW? Completely spaced I'd MET the woman. But at any rate, Sara emailed me back, very excited. Mine was the first review to come in, and it helped hammer home the reality of being published.

I asked to be put on the list to receive her second book, Miss Match. I was in the middle of something else when it arrived, but at the first possible moment, I picked it up, carried it upstairs, and got to reading. I was only a chapter or two in when it hit me. I had MET Sara! Suddenly I remembered her, remembered sitting with her and her agent at the award's banquet in 2007!

When things like this hit me out of the blue, I've taken to turning my thoughts to the Lord. I learned this lesson many times over, and not too long before in relation to authors (I'd been thinking about my favorite childhood author one week and then learned she had died that week). So I prayed for Sara and her family. Then kept reading.

The next morning I learned that at the exact time the Lord had impressed her on my heart, she was suffering a debilitating death in the family. When I saw that email asking for prayers as her family reeled with the loss, I sat back and just stared. I barely knew this woman. I didn't even recall meeting her until the moment I started praying. Why had the Lord called on me for this?

I don't pretend to understand the way our amazing God works, but you can bet that whenever someone pops to mind with that startling clarity now, I'm putting aside all else and saying a prayer.

Not knowing what else to do, I finished Miss Match--which was a great book with an awe-inspiring ending--wrote my review, and told everyone I knew to buy her books. My grandmother petitioned the library to order them. My best friend ordered them for her mom. I don't know that my efforts did much in the overall attempt to help her family, but I had to do what I could.

At the conference last month, I was walking blissfully away from lunch one day when I heard, "Roseanna!" I turned, having no clue who was hailing me. And saw a smiling Sara Mills sitting on the bench, waving. "You wrote my very first review," she said--looking, I might add, gorgeous and sophisticated. "I wanted to thank you."

I may not have remembered our first chance meeting. But you can bet I'll never forget that one.

To read my reviews of the fabulous film noir-inspired mysteries by Sara Mills, click on the book covers--they'll take you to the links at the CRoB.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read Miss Match yet (darn life getting in the way of my reading time!) but Miss Fortune is awesome. And I've never heard my mom go so crazy over an author.