At the ICRS convention in Orlando, I was given the opportunity of attending the Christy Awards. After walking around for nearly twenty minutes, I grew frustrated that I couldn’t find the banquet room where the awards ceremony was located. Nearing an escalator, I introduced myself to two strangers and asked for directions.
“Do you know where the Christy Awards are being held tonight?”
“We’re headed there now,” the first man responded. “Just follow us.”
“Thank you,” I grinned with relief as I stepped onto the escalator.
The second gentleman introduced himself next, “Hello, my name is Marcus Brotherton.”
On the short journey up to the second floor, Marcus and I exchanged a few details about our lives. I discovered that he, like myself, was a writer and that he lived in Washington State with his wife and children.
Then the first man added to the conversation. “I’m Marcus’ agent. He’s been nominated to receive a Christy Award tonight.”
My eyes must have betrayed my surprise or glee or both because the agent seemed genuinely entertained by the expression on my face. Just then, the escalator came to the second floor. As a new author, I really wanted our conversation to continue. There were so many questions I wanted to ask Marcus, but we had arrived and the opportunity quietly slipped away.
Once inside the banquet hall, I scouted the room for the people I would be dining with. I was thrilled they were able to save me a chair despite my late arrival. Upon sitting down, I noticed the atmosphere in the room was rife with anticipation. Many notable Christian authors were in attendance. Everyone seemed genuinely excited about what the evening would hold.
The second surprise of the evening came when Marcus and his agent sat down right beside me. To say that I was elated and overjoyed would be an understatement. The conversation picked up right where we’d left off at the escalator. Throughout the dinner, Marcus, a self-confessed introvert, was kind enough to entertain my eager questions about his journey as an author.
We chatted about his book, “Feast for Thieves.” He was surprised that his first published novel had been nominated for a Christy. “I wrote three-and-a-half novels before ‘Feast,’” he stated modestly. “They ended up in the trash!” We both chuckled.
I asked Marcus about his other books and discovered that he’s authored or coauthored more than twenty-five non-fiction titles. He’s known internationally for writing the stories of Easy Company—the WWII paratroopers featured in HBO’s popular miniseries, “Band of Brothers.” As a New York Times bestselling author of “A Company of Heroes,” Marcus has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, BBC World News, HuffPost Live, and PBS.
During the awards ceremony, the third surprise of the evening came when the winner was announced for the category of “First Novel.”
“Marcus Brotherton, ‘Feast for Thieves,’” declared the judge.
So the guy I had just met on the escalator a little over an hour ago had just won one of the most prestigious awards in the Christian publishing industry. I was so happy for my new friend. His agent handed me a camera and I snapped a few photos for them. The crowd around Marcus grew quickly as people congratulated him for winning.
Then Fred St. Laurent walked over and introduced himself, “Marcus, we’d like to interview you for “BookFun Magazine.” You’ve been talking with James most of the evening. I’d like him to do the interview for us.”
Marcus simply smiled and said, “Great.”
That was the fourth surprise of the evening, and the unexpected serendipity continued. I had the opportunity to interview Marcus the next morning.
What prepared you to be a writer? To read the full interview, click here.