About a month ago, I was randomly searching through my Facebook messages "other" folder. For those who don't know, the other folder is where messages are stored from people with whom you aren't Facebook friends. I knew it existed; I check it semi-regularly. However, it used to be the dropbox for messages from pages and groups of which you were a part. Therefore, I had lots of unread messages from random pages of bands, singers, fan clubs, etc. I decided it was time to clean those old ones out. That's when I discovered it: a message from the Karen Kingsbury Facebook page.
Karen Kingsbury is one of the most famous contemporary Christian fiction authors. Her novels are compelling, if sometimes predictable, and they include a solid gospel message within each tale of family, friendships, love, loss, heartache, and mistakes. I've read every novel that she's written, and I own her entire Baxter family series (23 books in all) that I've read through at least three times.
Often on Facebook, Karen will have contests for people to become members of Team KK. Team KK is a group of readers that get access to her latest unpublished novels in order to give final edits, feedback, or written reviews. I've tried to win a spot on that team many times over the past five or six years to no avail.
...or so I thought.
The Facebook message that I discovered was dated May 25, 2011, and it started:
"Hi Megan!! GREAT NEWS!! We looked through all the comments from readers wanting to be on TEAM KK, and we decided we needed to include you, too - even though you didn't have as many "Likes" as some of the other entries. Your words were very touching ... and we think you'd make a great addition to TEAM KK."Holy smokes! So for three years, I've had this message inviting me to be a part of Team KK, and I didn't even know about it? I took a screenshot of the message and immediately emailed her publishing team, begging for a chance to still be considered. Her assistant emailed me back a few days later and said they would keep me in mind in the future. I figured that was a polite brush-off, that I had missed my chance.
Two weeks later, I received an email from her office asking all Team KK members if they had time to do a final edit on a new manuscript that will be published in September. The only catch was that they needed a week turnaround, and it was my last full week of school. Um, hello?! Of course I offered to read the book. And the coolest part was that I actually found some errors! There were a few minor things like missing words or extra words, and I also found a couple of inconsistencies in timing.
I read the book and sent in my edits within twenty-four hours. #becausenerd
This entire journey could have ended there and I would have been thrilled because 1. the opportunity to read a novel four months before the public could 2. a free copy of a novel I would have purchased anyway and 3. a chance to contribute edits to a manuscript.
But sometimes, there are bigger blessings that are completely unexpected! As a Team KK member, Karen already had my address. I assumed all the "editors" would receive a thank-you card in the mail. As someone who used to collect stamped postcards from Jodie Sweetin and Jonathan Taylor Thomas in the 90s, I consider any piece of mail with a signature on it pretty cool. And yet, when Ronnie brought my mail in today, I opened more than just a thank-you note; Karen had sent a $100 gift card to Target in the card. That's beyond anything I expected, but it was such a huge blessing, especially in this season of preparing for the new baby.
I love how this entire situation was orchestrated this past month. And there's no way I'm quitting; I'm in for every edit she needs in the future!
By the way, her new book, which will be out in September, is called Angels Walking, and it is worth your read. (If you find any other errors, you can blame me. I know I read it way too quickly to catch everything!)