Have you ever been reading a book and dreamed of meeting the author. Well, that happened to me. Only I didn't just dream about it, I prayed about it.
Even though Michael Korda was a World Famous Author and the Editor in Chief of one of the largest Publishing Houses in the world. And I was somebody, nobody had ever heard of…I knew that God could do anything.
Here is the story as it apprears in the book 101 AMAZING THINGS ABOUT GOD.
THE KING AND THE MIDDLE AGED LADY
by Marsha Marks
(When I get to Heaven, I want to meet Queen Esther, because she also --- made an appointment to meet a King …after she’d prayed, of course.)
Sometimes, prayer is the only connection you may ever have with some people.
I was thinking about this as I read the book ANOTHER LIFE (a memoir of other people) and began praying for it’s author Michael Korda.
I prayed for his spiritual well being for a full day, before I got the idea to pray I could meet him. Meeting him had seemed so out of the question. He was, after all, a world famous author and 30 years the Editor in Chief at Simon and Schuster, with a movie star mother and a family who hobnobbed with European royalty. I was a middle-aged housewife whose only glamour was going to work as a Flight Attendant. The closest I’d been to a movie star was when one sat in first class and wrapped a blanket around his head.
I saw Mr. Korda as an East Coast King; and I, pretty much, a West Coast Peasant.
But, his book ANOTHER LIFE a memoir of other people, inspired and encouraged me with it’s accounts of the publishing
Careers of all the writers I’d grown up hearing about. It made me realize that struggling to get recognized is a part of most famous careers.
I decided someday, when I was old, I would love the chance to meet Mr. Korda and tell him how much his book meant to me.
So, in addition to praying for his spiritual welfare. I began to pray, as Esther prayed --- that one day God would arrange a meeting with a king.
I thought about giving God some suggestions. I’m a Flight Attendant, I said. I could meet Mr. Korda while he was traveling first class.
Then an idea came to me. Why didn’t I just call up Michael Korda. It was such a radical thing. But, the idea was, as a Flight Attendant, I sometimes have layovers in New York; maybe I could just stop by his office and meet with him for 5 minutes. It could happen. So, I prayed if this was a good idea for me, that God would make it happen. I knew Proverbs 21:1. I knew the book of Esther. God can bring peasants before Kings. He can turn the Kings heart.
I kept praying and then I acted on my prayer. I picked up the phone and dialed New York. Got the number for Simon and Schuster Publishing and when the lady answered the phone, I asked if a Michael Korda still worked there. Boom. Transferred. "Hello, this is Mr. Korda’s Office." I must have reached his secretary.
And then…I am sorry to tell you; I went nuts. This sometimes happens to me when I get too excited. I just go nuts. I started screaming. "Mr. Korda’s office!!! I can’t believe it! I love him! I just love him! I have to meet him! WHERE IS HE!?"
"Well, he’s currently on tour with his new book, ANOTHER LIFE."
"YES!" (I screamed a lot louder than I should have and I didn’t shut up.)
I don’t really want to re-live the whole awful conversation I had with Mr. Korda’s secretary that day. Suffice it to say, when you call a major literary figure and you start screaming and saying you have to meet him and demanding to know where he is --- people get nervous. I’m pretty sure they patched me into security just before they hung up on me.
So, I got off the phone and told God, "Well that didn’t work. I tried and failed."
Then I got this other idea. I’d try again. Only this time act more subdued. And this time, the idea was to call his publisher. I’d call his publisher and ask them if they minded if I wrote a review on the book. I hadn’t even realized that although Mr. Korda, worked at Simon and Schuster, his publisher for ANOTHER LIFE was Random House.
So again, I prayed, "God if this is something that is good for me, you will work it out." And I called Random House in New York and asked to speak to the editor who edited Michael Korda’s book ANOTHER LIFE. These New York receptionists were savy. "Why do you want to speak to that editor?’"
I had already thought of a rational answer, should that question come up. "Well, I want to write a review for his book".
Boom. Transferred to publicity department.
"Publicity Department, Random House."
This was getting exciting, but I remained calm. "Hello, I’ve just read Michael Korda’s new book ANOTHER LIFE, and I want to write a favorable review on it."
"Where do you live?"
I thought that was an odd question, but I answered it, "On the West Coast."
"You’ll need West Coast Publicity. Here is their number."
I called West Coast Publicity and told them I wanted to write a review on Michael Korda’s book ANOTHER LIFE.
"For what publication?"
Oh no! I hadn’t thought that far in advance. I looked down at the kitchen Counter and saw a magazine called WRITERS DIGEST. "For WRITERS DIGEST MAGAZINE," I said. (I didn’t mention I was writing the review on spec.)
"OH," said the Publicity Manager, "can I call you right back, I’m in a meeting."
"Sure" I said, and gave her my number.
When I got off the phone, I immediately got another call from a friend of mine, who has actually written for WRITERS DIGEST. I hadn’t heard from her in months, and I was quite excited to tell her the story that had just transpired.
"Are you NUTS?" she said. "You can’t just tell PUBLICITY for RANDOM HOUSE, that you are writing an article for WRITERS DIGEST MAGAZINE, without telling WRITERS DIGEST MAGAZINE. What if they call WRITERS DIGEST and they say they’ve never heard of you. ARE YOU NUTS?" she said again.
People ask me if I’m nuts quite often, so I let that slide. "OK," I said, you’ve made your point. I will just call WRITERS DIGEST MAGAZINE and tell them the whole story.
But, before I could call Writers Digest Magazine and tell them what I’d done; the publicity department for RANDOM HOUSE called back again.
"OK now where did you say you lived? Just outside Seattle? Well, today is Tuesday, Mr. Korda is going to be in Seattle on Thusday; day after tomorrow. He is doing Entertainment Weekly, at 11 and AMAZON.COM after that, but he could see you for 20 minutes at 1. How does your schedule look on Thursday?"
I looked at my 2 year old, playing peacefully on the floor, I looked at my bare calendar and said, "Thursday at 1 is good" Then I said, "This isn’t a book signing, is it?" I just couldn’t believe I was going to meet Michael Korda alone for 20 minutes, 48 hours after I’d prayed to meet him.
"No!" Publicity lady said, "This is a private meeting, but you only have 20 minutes. OK?"
I said OK and put down the phone and started laughing and dancing a jig around the pans my daughter was playing with on our kitchen floor.
Then I called Writers Digest Magazine got some editor there who listened to my confession and assured me, (if asked) he would at least say he had talked to me and yes they were aware I would be meeting with Mr. Korda, and writing an article on spec.
Ten minutes later my phone rang again; a serious voiced woman identified herself as the managing editor of WRITERS DIGEST MAGAZINE. "Marsha Marks, I understand you are meeting with Michael Korda."
"Well WRITERS DIGEST, was wondering if you would accept an assignment from us. We’ll pay you (serious money) to ask Mr. Korda several questions from us. If you agree I will email the questions and our contract to you so you can review them before you meet with Mr. Korda. And we’d like to rush this interview, into our August Edition."
I did not think it was necessary to tell this Managing Editor I had never interviewed anyone in my life. Instead, I told her "Yes, I will accept the assignment."
Then I called back the publicity people at Random House and told them that the Managing Editor at WRITERS DIGEST had just called with a lot of questions they wanted answered and they were going to rush the article into their August Edition. So, then the Publicity people said, "Well, you’re going to need more time then, so we’ll give you one hour."
And that is how I, a middle aged lady, who read a book and prayed a prayer, got to interview a King in the Publishing industry. (After I bought a tape recorder of course.) And that is how I got my first major assignment with a Major Magazine.
God can do anything.
If you’d like to read another story about a woman who made an appointment to see a King. Read the book of Esther.
The kings heart is in the hand of the Lord, like rivers of water, he turns it wherever he will. Proverbs 21:1
From 101 AMAZING THINGS ABOUT GOD Copyright 2001 Marsha Marks. (World Right Available; Hard Cover Rights available)
Email the author: firstname.lastname@example.org