At this year’s Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, Eva Marie Everson presented me with the 2017 “Billie Wilson Matthew 5:16 Award.”
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
“What if you had an idea that would change the lives of new writers–good writers?
“What if you had an idea that would turn dreams into reality?
“But what if that idea meant sacrifice–on YOUR part? Sacrifices like time … money … sanity?
“Would you do it?
“Would you do it if you knew that not only would the lives of writers change, but that you would also be a part of spreading the gospel of Christ, one book at a time?
“And would you do it if this meant going completely out of your comfort zone, because–really–people are not always as easy to deal with as … say … dogs.
“Would you do it?
“The 2017 Billie Wilson Matthew 5:16 award goes to … Eddie Jones.” ~ Eva Marie Everson
The award is an acknowledgment from God that I’m doing the thing He called me to do.
But this is not individual recognition – it’s a team award. Eva, Ann Tatlock, Cindy Sproles, Marisa Deshaies, Yvonne Lehman, Darla Crass, Kathy Davis, Rowena Kuo, Tessa Hall, and Jessica R. Everson serve as our imprint managing editors. They work hard for too little pay and way too little recognition. Without them we wouldn’t have award-winning titles. Without them our light would be a fading flicker, not a beacon.
Marcie Bridges and Shonda Savage are the unsung heroes of our silent staff. Without them we wouldn’t have a publishing company. Shonda manages production and Marcie manages the authors. Like our managing editors, both deserve more recognition and pay than they receive.
And the editors? Oh my goodness! Andrea Merrell and Denise Loock stepped up when we didn’t have editors. For years they’ve edited with the heart of servants – edited and helped launch author’s careers.
Since those early days in 2009 the following editors have stepped up and helped us advance:
Leslie McKee, Jennifer Slattery, Amberlyn Dwinnell, Nancy Farrier, Susan Price, Jennifer Harshman, Chris Richards, Jerri Menges, Connie Troyer, Alycia Morales, Christina Miller, Maurice Gray, Elizabeth Easter, Cynthia Ballenger, Ben Erlichman, Bethany Kaczmarek, Kevin Spencer, Susan Craft, Court Dudek, Betty Hassler, Sandie Bricker, Carolyn Boyles, Rachel Overton, Ramona Richards, Lynne Cosby, Edwina Perkins, Marsha Hubler, Mackenzie Jager, Kelsey Campbell, and Katie Vorreiter.
I’d like to offer a special thanks to Elaina Lee, owner of For the Muse Designs, for her outstanding covers. Thanks also to Ken Raney, Goran Tomic, and Ted Ruybal. You can judge a book by its cover and these individuals make us look great.
Thanks also to our proof readers Brian Cross, Lucie Winborne, Judah Raine, Jennifer Leo, and Christy Distler.
Ours is ministry work. Our efforts are an act of faith. Thanks, team for stepping up and shining your light into darkness. May we continue to BE the Light!