FAPA Founders Award recipient Mark Wayne Adams

On Saturday eventing, August 6, 2016 during the 2016 FAPA President’s Book Awards ceremony in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Mark Wayne Adams received the 2016 Florida Authors & Publishers Association Founders Award. This achievement award recognizes a longstanding FAPA member for contributions to FAPA, the publishing community, the reading community, and professionally published books.

Mark’s FAPA Founders Award Message:

Thank you Terri Gerrell for allowing me enough time to prepare an acceptance speech. I actually prepared two—a short and long version. Unfortunately, I lost the short version.

Receiving the 2016 FAPA Founders Award is a tremendous honor. When Terri told me I had been selected, I asked myself, why me? I know many deserving individuals, most of which are here tonight.

I began publishing in 2004—33 years old. Craig Winstead, employer and friend, inspired me with these words: “I’ll print your book for free, if you learn to publish it.” Within a month I had purchased a block of ISBNs; registered an LCCN; bought a barcode; and printed 5,000 copies of my first book, Miss Mary’s Missing Book Bag.

Printing books isn’t publishing. Selling books is publishing. The first publishing lesson I learned was, if you don’t sell books they get heavier. My family, those books, and I moved four times between 2004 and 2006. I became a stronger and wiser publisher in no time.

In 2009, Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous! A Story About Being a Boy released. It was not only Christa Carpenter’s first book, but also the first book I published for anyone besides myself. Nicholas won an IPPY, an Eric Hoffer, a Moonbeam, and a FPA President’s Book Award! Elated by my four-medal publishing success, I joined not only FPA, but also the board. I learned book awards lead to unexpected opportunities and a surge of confidence.

From 2009 to 2016, I served in various FPA and FAPA leadership roles—president being one. I thought, what can I do differently from my predecessors? I proposed ridiculous ideas, that if they failed, would make me famous: Mark Wayne Adams leader of FAPA’s demise!

With many of the current FAPA board members’ support, we doubled the book awards submissions; added national librarian judges; attended Book Expo America; and hosted the largest conference and book awards since FPA’s inception. This was a great honor for our board’s commitment. During this time we learned the real definitions of: donating time, working board members, and delegation.

In mid June 2016, I was invited to speak at my first American Library Association ConferenceDr. Anna Faktorovich, a Ph.D in English Literature and Criticism, email queried ALA speakers for blog interviews. When she discovered I wasn’t her traditional academic guest, my interview was declined.

One week later I tossed drawings on the ALA convention floor. A young woman, carrying an armload of books, marched down the drawing path. She quickly apologized for stepping on my art.

“No worries, it’s only paper!” I said.

She glanced up at the booth banner; down at the drawings; then shouted, “You’re Mark Wayne Adams!”

After visiting over a million elementary school students, hearing my name shouted isn’t strange. The six degrees of Mark Wayne Adams story that follows is strange.

“I’m Anna!” she shouted. “I rejected your interview last week, remember!”

Anna shouting my rejection publicly wouldn’t sell books. However, my ability to “draw her into my world” filled Anna with a barrage of publishing questions.

I finally said “Anna, I’m working. Send me your interview questions, if you want answers.” She agreed and asked for a review copy of my latest book. I handed her my first novel. Countless hours went into researching and revising the manuscript for this moment—a review by a Ph.D. in English Literature and Criticism. 

OUTBACK-Bothers & Sinisters-www.markwayneadams.com-3D-book-72DPI-RGBIn my twelve-year publishing career I’ve learned that rejection, criticism, and affirmation are all the same—feedback. How I choose to use feedback defines my professional success. Feedback from my publishing peers, beta readers, editor, and a group of national librarians, made today a founding moment. I can now say OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters is my first award-winning novel. 

At last year’s awards I shared: we all have one person responsible for inspiring our publishing career. As Diane Harper accepted her first of several book awards, she whispered, “Mark, you’re my one!” She was the first of many that night to repeat those words. 

I met Fast Freddy long before I met his creator at the FAPA and Readers’ Favorite book awards. One year ago, author Lee Ann Mancini reluctantly confessed she hadn’t sold any of her award-winning books. She recently posted on Twitter, “450 off to LifeWay book stores!” What a Bragger! Lee Ann Mancini.

Jane R. Wood has gone from visiting schools, a niche market for authors; to publishing the book, teaching others to succeed. She is also the first author I know to sell over 6,000 books in one day!

Having your first stalker sound likes Misery, but Patti Brassard-Jefferson went from stalking me for StuPendous publishing tips to being featured in Publishers Weekly for her indie bookstore, PBJ Boox. Indie authors and publishers are now her stalkers—I’m her biggest fan!

Like I said there are many people more deserving of this award. Before I close, I’d like to thank my family: my beautiful wife, Angela; my overly talented daughter, Isabella; and my handsome giant son, Carter; you all keep my ego in check. Thank you to my author family: Christa Carpenter Blaney, Linda Smigaj, Eddie Price, Irina Dolinskiy, John Hope, Kay Whitehouse, and many other talented authors who ignite my imagination. Thank you also to my FAPA family, who work equally as hard to support others as they do me. You’ve shown me the Founders Award is not about being first but placing others first and contributing to their success.

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Summer Reading List: “Your Song”

Today a Walden boy named Maxx learns he has much in common with Skyler, a young eagle living in the Growing Field. This flying lesson teaches both of our young friends where to look when searching for unique gifts and talents in life. Invite your child to soar with Your Song and experience the magic that occurs when we learn to look deep inside ourselves for our gifts, talents and self-esteem. Leadership elements Self-confidence, self-esteem, uniqueness, power of confirmation and positive self-image

About the Growing Field Series The Growing Field series was inspired by, and written in memory of Mark Hoog‘s colleague, mentor, and friend Jason Dahl, the Captain of Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. The Growing Field Series unlocks the six secret keys to making a child’s dream come true. Each of the six stories is specially designed to capture children’s attention and help them begin building their leadership capabilities!

Your Song is part of our Summer Reading List for Students! Purchase your own or check the book out at the local library. If it’s not available at the library, request it be added.

Your Song written by Mark Hoog.

Summer Reading List: “Dream Machine”

Attend the Walden carnival in the Growing Field and come face to face with Nightingale’s wondrous Dream Machine. This magical dream machine shows children how to dream big and how to make them come true as important leadership principles. Leadership elements: dreams, goals, goal verbalization, commitment, practice, work ethic, and responsibility.

About the Growing Field Series The Growing Field series was inspired by, and written in memory of Mark Hoog‘s colleague, mentor, and friend Jason Dahl, the Captain of Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. The Growing Field Series unlocks the six secret keys to making a child’s dream come true. Each of the six stories is specially designed to capture children’s attention and help them begin building their leadership capabilities!

Dream Machine is part of our Summer Reading List for Students! Purchase your own or check the book out at the local library. If it’s not available at the library, request it be added.

Summer Reading List: “Magic Mountain”

Determined to be the first to climb the fabled and ever-changing Magic Mountain, Mitch sets out to reach the elusive summit. As he and his colorful companion encounter rock slides and ravines designed to prevent them from reaching the top, Mitch learns about focus, fear, commitment…and himself. In so doing, he gains treasure beyond anything he’d imagined. Come learn the secret to summit your Magic Mountain called life!

About the Growing Field Series The Growing Field series was inspired by, and written in memory of Mark Hoog‘s colleague, mentor, and friend Jason Dahl, the Captain of Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. The Growing Field Series unlocks the six secret keys to making a child’s dream come true. Each of the six stories is specially designed to capture children’s attention and help them begin building their leadership capabilities!

Magic Mountain is part of our Summer Reading List for Students! Purchase your own or check the book out at the local library. If it’s not available at the library, request it be added.

Summer Reading List: “Treasure Island”

Prepare to get wet as you embark on a magical boat ride through this Growing Field adventure where personal responsibility is the leadership message. With the help of Nightingale, Pete learns to adjust the “set of his sail” to successfully navigate wind, rocks, rain…and life!

About the Growing Field Series The Growing Field series was inspired by, and written in memory of Mark Hoog‘s colleague, mentor, and friend Jason Dahl, the Captain of Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. The Growing Field Series unlocks the six secret keys to making a child’s dream come true. Each of the six stories is specially designed to capture children’s attention and help them begin building their leadership capabilities!

Treasure Island is part of our Summer Reading List for Students! Purchase your own or check the book out at the local library. If it’s not available at the library, request it be added.

Summer Reading List: “Field of Dreams”

In search of her grandparents’ fabled Field of Dreams, Dusty sets out with her new friend Gus to find a place where she can plant her own spectacular “Seeds of Success.” Nightingale once again works magic to show two willing farmers that goals and hard work are the tools necessary to create a beautiful Field of Dreams—anywhere. Welcome to the Growing Field. Let your journey continue.

About the Growing Field Series The Growing Field series was inspired by, and written in memory of Mark Hoog‘s colleague, mentor, and friend Jason Dahl, the Captain of Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. The Growing Field Series unlocks the six secret keys to making a child’s dream come true. Each of the six stories is specially designed to capture children’s attention and help them begin building their leadership capabilities!

Field of Dreams is part of our Summer Reading List for Students! Purchase your own or check the book out at the local library. If it’s not available at the library, request it be added.

How to Win Friends & Influence People: MWA, Inc. Must Read List

My childhood dream was to become a Walt Disney animator. In November 1995, during the pursuit of my dream, I booked a flight from Florida to California. I’d never been on an airplane much less to California. Was my dream worth moving across the United States?

Being a country boy at heart—California’s mountains, lakes, and oceans were more appealing than Florida’s flatlands. Runs along massive beaches, visits to major tourist sites, and Yosemite National Park made this a monumental trip. So what event caused me stay in Florida?

A lady with an ora of wealth sat next to me during my return flight to Florida. Okay, maybe it wasn’t her ora as much as her gem-covered hands reflecting wealth. Who was she? Are those costume rings? How did she earn her wealth? I awkwardly asked, “You appear successful. May I ask how it happened?”

She smiled back. I anticipated a fantastic story! Her answer wasn’t fantastic, but an interview of my life. She asked questions about my family, occupation, recreation, and monetary goals. Her questions were genuine, as she listened to each of my answers. Twenty minutes into the conversation, she asked, “Do you still want to know how I became successful?”

“Yes! Of course I do.” I said.

She said, “The secret is three books. Practice everything in each book. Don’t read the next book until you’ve completed last. The first book is How to Win Friends & Influence People.”

“My college friends and I joke about this book.” I chuckled.

“You shouldn’t laugh. We’ve talked for nearly thirty minutes, and you haven’t asked my name. Read this book first!” she said.

In so many ways, she was right. My listening improves each time I read this book. That’s why I’m reading How to Win Friends & Influence People this month. Her second book was even more impactful. I’ll share it next month.