Miracles at Mount Hermon Part Two: Fan Girl

This is the second installment of Lori Freeland’s guest blog. To read part one, “My Journey of No Expectations,” click here.

Some people drool over rock stars. Others salivate over hunky actors. I get giddy over meeting my favorite authors and writing gurus. I have entire shelves in my bookcase devoted to autographed books.

When I went to my first few writers’ conferences and seminars, I played wallflower, hung out in the back, and never approached anyone published. I mean, really, those people were famous, right? Why would they talk to me?

Guess what?

Most authors are nice. Not only are they interested in their fans, they take time for those of us who want to jump into their shoes and be writers too.

Think of all the opportunities I wasted by hanging back. People I could have met. Books that could have been signed. Friends I could have made.

After I booked my flight to Mount Hermon, I zipped to the website to check out the faculty. Who would I get to meet? How many signed books could I stuff in my suitcase on the return flight without tripping the alarm on the weight limit? How many fan girl pictures would I get?

Yes, I’m a little bit of a dork. But that’s okay. My favorite books make me happy. So does meeting the people who write them.

Not only did God open doors and make me feel relaxed at Mount Hermon, He gave me the opportunity to hang out with some awesome authors. Authors I’ve read for years and never met.

Below is a list of a few of the incredible people I had the chance to spend some time with.

Robin Jones Gunn: My sister and I read Robin’s Christy Miller series as teens. In a way, I grew up with Christy. When I shared with Robin that my sister gave the Christy books to my daughter, she cried. Her verse while she was writing those novels had been one about influencing generations to come. I took her workshop, got to hang out with her, and of course, took home signed books for my shelf. She was so sweet. She even signed bookmarks for me to send to my sister.

Robin Jones GunnLori Freeland and Robin Jones Gunn








Brandilyn Collins: By the time I met Brandilyn, I’d heard so many stories about her from DiAnn Mills I felt like I already knew her. Brandilyn happily shared her own stories. Not only is she funny and talented, she dresses cool too.

Brandilyn 480x321Brandilyn Collins and Lori Freeland









Randy IngermansonI love Randy’s Snowflake Method, his novels, and his fiction e-zine. He also promotes my mentor and boss, Margie Lawson, so it was fun to talk Margie-writing. While I knew he was brilliant, I hadn’t expected his sense of humor or his encouragement. I will always be grateful for his friendship and the way he stood behind my writing.

Randy Ingermanson 320x480Randy Ingermanson and Lori Freeland
















James Scott Bell: How fun to read all of James Scott Bell’s books on writing fiction and then have the chance to sit in his workshop and listen to him teach live. We even talked craft for a little bit. My writer friends at home were jealous when I told them I had lunch with Jim.

James Scott BellJames Scott Bell and Lori Freeland









Christine Tangvald: A powerhouse speaker and children’s writer, Christine roomed with Kathy Ide. I met her the evening I arrived. We spent hours over that week talking books, writing, and kids. She is not only fun, but she may be the wisest person I know.

Christine 640x480Lori Freeland and Christine Tangvald









Kathy Ide: Without Kathy, I wouldn’t have been at Mount Hermon. She is an incredible editor and friend. I would have flown to California just to spend time with her.

Kathy 640x480Lori Freeland and Kathy Ide










There isn’t enough space to list all the wonderful faculty members and authors I met. Between sharing meals, moments, and messages, I made so many contacts and friends my bowl of business cards is overflowing.

Stay tuned for Part Three—Pitch-a-Phobia.