The excitement grows out of the conversation
For me, part of the excitement in coming to things like Wild Goose centered around visiting the booths and talking to the people sitting at each tent. This year, for the first time, I’m on the other side of the picture. I was excited about spending some time with our authors in their space. There’s a reason that authors like Brian McLaren and Justin Lee play a prominent role at the festival — they are great communicators. I couldn’t wait to be able to hear talk specifically about their books in a natural way … often in casual conversation.
As Sarah Thebarge worked with me at the Jericho Books booth on Thursday I got to see her light up about her book, The Invisible Girls (Jericho, April 2013). Most importantly I got to see her chat about why the book is important to her. It’s not just about her; it really is about the girls and the girls in her life. It’s about all of the unseen families with little hope struggling to survive.
Sarah shared with me a few things she was most excited about with The Invisible Girls: getting a book deal (as a writer, that’s incredibly gratifying), telling a great story, and raising the visibility of this group of women and children. I feel like she could talk about this for years. I know what the book is about, but without having that face-to-face interaction, I wouldn’t have seen such energy and passion come out of Sarah and her hope for the story she’s sharing. The final reason Sarah gave for being excited about her book gets to the heart of the matter — the girls that the book is about. With this book, Sarah’s ultimate goal is to build a college fund for the girls with proceeds from the advance and royalties on the book. I think that speaks for itself.
I truly believe this is why Wild Goose and other similar festivals work so well. They introduce us to unseen possibilities, to ways to improve on this planet we’ve got, ways to give back, and they’re places where people can find their calling. I think someone talking to Sarah Thebarge about her book would have a fire lit inside them about helping the unseen, whether it be the homeless or families like the Somali family Sarah has grown to love.