It was a discouraging afternoon at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. After my hopes were deflated at a faculty appointment, I headed to dinner just wanting to make a friend. I sat at Tamela Hancock Murray’s table with that intention. I didn’t plan to pitch my manuscript or promote my material in any form.
Yet Tamela turned to me during the meal, initiating conversation. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, we were seated at an empty table where she reviewed my book proposal. Everyone left one by one for the evening session, but Tamela took her time and looked through my document thoroughly. As she proceeded page by page, she spoke encouraging words that lifted my spirits.
She didn’t know any of this, of course. We’d never met before, and I can’t imagine how many writers she already had interacted with that day. But Tamela’s warmth and kindness ministered to my bruised spirit, and I’ll never forget her genuine interest in me and my work. She spent about an hour with me—missing much of the scheduled programming on my behalf.
The publishing pursuit can be a lonely process. Discouragement can spoil the writing experience every now and then. Yet as Christians in this industry, we possess a tremendous benefit. God knows our needs, and in my case, He knew the perfect time to introduce me to Tamela Hancock Murray. I greatly appreciate her sincerity, approachability, business sense, and willingness to communicate. Now, it’s my privilege to introduce her to you…
Tamela, when and how did you come to know the Lord as your Savior?
Tamela Hancock Murray:I grew up in a Christian home. Extended family, all strong Christians, lived within a six-mile radius. I always knew I belonged to the Lord. I had an especially strong knowledge of this fact when I was five, although I didn’t become formally baptized until later. When I was a newlywed at 21, I met a missionary who helped me take my faith to the next level. My husband and I named one of our daughters after her.
What is your primary role in the writing community, and how did you achieve this position?
Tamela Hancock Murray:I am a literary agent with The Steve Laube Agency, and have been with that agency since 2011. Before then, I had been with Hartline Literary Agency since 2001. Prior to that, I wrote many Christian books for Barbour and a title for Summerside. I no longer write books or novellas for publication, but am grateful to Barbour for repacks. I am pleased to bring the working writer’s perspective to my role as a literary agent.
How has God used you and your skills in the writing realm to strengthen His kingdom?
Tamela Hancock Murray:He has led me to partner with many talented authors. I am proud of each and every author I represent. I believe Christians writing for other Christians gives all of us an alternative to secular titles. This choice is especially vital in the romance genre, which is my speciality.
Of course, some readers have come to Christ as a result of Christian books, which is always gratifying.
The Lord will use our work to His honor and glory. We must obey His call for our lives in making that work available for His purposes.
What are your dreams and goals for 2018?
Tamela Hancock Murray:I would like to continue partnering in the success of my published authors, and find new authors to bring to Christian publishing. I would like to continue on my path to deepening my walk with the Lord.
How can we pray for you?
Tamela Hancock Murray: That I will serve my authors according to God’s will. Also, for my immediate family, and especially my extended family as my parents and their generation navigate their elder years. For me to understand God’s will and to follow it as an empty nester.
I am praying for the readers of this blog. Thank you, Emily, for your ministry, and for thinking of me. I am honored to be a guest here today.
Thank you, Tamela, for sharing with us on Writers Connect. I remain grateful for your encouragement from the day we first met until now. May God continue to bless your work as a literary agent, and may He use it to draw many people to Christ.
And to my readers ~ Are you looking for a literary agent? I encourage you to connect with Tamela via the links below.
In Christ’s Love,
TAMELA HANCOCK MURRAY and her husband live in northern Virginia and are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters. They enjoy travel, hanging out at home, and time spent with family. Tamela loves reading, especially stories that glorify the Lord and have a happy ending.
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