By Kariss Lynch
Every Tuesday night, three thousand young adults across Dallas come for a little get together we call The Porch. For three years now, I’ve volunteered, entering the worship center to fulfill my assigned task of shepherding people to seats and hopefully to a closer relationship with the Lord.
Those of us who volunteer have a saying, a mantra every Tuesday at 7pm: “Look for the one.” The one who enters alone, lost in the crowd as they sit by themselves, stony faced, eyes straight ahead, wishing someone would say hello. We search for these people, and then….then we set aside the task we have been assigned to meet these people, engage with them, sit with them, care for them. The one becomes bigger than the whole. We host The Porch for them, the one in need of hope.
This lesson has taught me much in my writing life, as well. Too often voices hound me when I sit down to write – the critic, the family member, the friend, the fan, the wonderer, the questioner. And I’ll stare at the cursor blinking on the screen, praying for peace that drowns out the voices as I close the door to the outside and just write.
But there is one voice I listen to attentively, one I always lend my ear. It’s the voice of “the one.” This “one” determines the success of the book. They are the individual who never sees mention of the book on social media or in a magazine. They are the soul that wanders into a bookstore looking for something, anything to hook their interest, to dive into and forget the world around them for a few hours. They are the one that needs to hear the hidden message played out in story form the most.
I write for that person.
Among the emails and messages I’ve received since Shaken released in February, I’ve received several from these individuals. I delight in interacting with these people who not only read the book and loved it, but relished it and NEEDED it. Needed it for encouragement, to remind them God is good, to help them wrestle or ask questions. Needed a distraction, a story of courage and love and heartache and victory.
A multitude of people have asked about sales and the success of Shaken. At first, I didn’t know how to respond. Now I know. Every time I get another email from “the one” I respond that Shaken is succeeding and that the value is exponential. I didn’t get into writing for money. No one does, really. I don’t know how to NOT write. More than that, I don’t know how to NOT communicate stories to those who need to hear them.
Success as the world defines it is not success as God defines it. So I listen to the original Storyteller and the voice of “the one” as I write. Everything else is important but ultimately eternally insignificant. With that perspective, the words spill onto the page. Here comes another story written for “the one” who God has labeled as eternally significant…
Kariss Lynch writes contemporary fiction about characters with big dreams, hearts for adventure, and enduring hope. Shaken, her first book in the Heart of a Warrior series, released in February 2014. Her second novel, Shadowed, releases March 3, 2015. A former freelance writer, she now works as the writer for a communications ministry in Dallas.