Every time I mention that a New York Times bestselling author named a character after me in a book, somebody's jaw drops. Some people might not even believe it, but it's true. How did it come about?
Back in August, I attended a life-changing event called The Ragged Edge. I was one of only a hundred attendees, and it was probably the best weekend of my entire life. The event was hosted by five well-known authors in the Christian community, though none of them would specifically label themselves as Christian authors. Three of the authors—Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee, and Steven James—were authors I had read and interacted with before. Another author, Robert Liparulo, I had heard a lot of great things about and I'd previously chatted with him a few times on Facebook. That left the last featured author, Eric Wilson. Eric was the only author to be speaking that, prior to learning about the event, I had never heard of.
Each author gave their own personal story, and none of them were pretty. To summarize, they let out the secret that unless you are extremely lucky, the path to becoming a published author who can live off novel writing is unbelievably hard. I won't elaborate, because it was something that you had to be there for.
Since the amount of attendees was very small and there were multiple breaks and intermissions throughout the two-day "conference," that left a lot of time to interact with the authors and other attendees. Several members of my Facebook writing group were also attendees, so during these times I was also able to hang out with my best friends. I was the first to ask a question during the first Q&A session, and I was the youngest person there (though not by much), so everyone knew me before the end. This was also partly due to the fact that Ted Dekker kept picking on me during his speaking time about that question I asked.
It was during one of those periods when people were just hanging around talking with the authors and each other that I happened to run into Eric. I had taken a picture with him earlier and jokingly commented that he was the only author I hadn't heard of when I first became interested in the event. His response was something to the effect of, "Are you making a point?" It was almost as if he expected me to have not heard of him, and it made me feel bad, even though I'd made the comment in good humor. Anyway, at this particular break period Eric was wearing a funny t-shirt. It read, "Careful, or you'll end up in my novel." I read it and asked him, "Is that supposed to be a bad thing?" He responded, "Do you want it to be?"
Long story short, that is why there is a character named Reuben King in the upcoming novel, Two Seconds Late by Eric Wilson. He said had would name a character after me, but I didn't know whether or not he was joking. I told him he didn't really need to, but then he said it was too good a name to let go. That's ironic, considering I don't really care for the name "Reuben" myself.
One thing that Eric did not tell me, however, is whether or not Reuben King will be a good or evil character. Regardless, I do hope he's at least somewhat intelligent.