Author Bob Hostetler

It Was a Year

You thought everything would be “normal” by now, didn’t you?

There’s a scene in the Mel Brooks classic film Young Frankenstein, in which Dr. Frankenstein (“Fronk-en-shteen”) discovers the brain his assistant supplied for the doctor’s grand experiment came from “Abby Someone.”

“Abby who?” the doctor asks.

“Abby … Normal,” comes the answer.

That’s where we are, living in “Abby Normal” times. In fact, abnormal is now normal. “Normal,” if it were to return, would seem abnormal.

That certainly applies to this “Abby Normal” publishing world and era in which we live, move, and have our being. I’ve been asked often over the last year or two if publishers are still acquiring. I’ve answered, “Absolutely! They’re certainly acquiring the excellent work of my clients.” I’ve also been asked, “Did things slow down in 2020 and 2021?” That’s a little like asking if a particular glacier has slowed down; it’s hard to tell, given how slow the wheels of Christian publishing turn “normally.”

Seriously, I’ve been pleased to see some of my clients’ writing ministries took a quantum leap forward, so to speak, in these past twelve months. Many signed multiple book contracts in 2021. I’ve been thrilled that some signed debut contracts, which is always a joy, and others are right on the threshold of their breakthrough moments. And I think more than a few found their sweet spot as writers.

That’s not to say everything this year was a bed of roses. In April, my prolific and accomplished client, Dr. Robert Lesslie, died tragically, along with his wife, two of their grandchildren, and two others (see here). Just before the incident that ended his life, Dr. Lesslie delivered what would be his final book, Angels in the ER, Vol. 2 (released in August 2021 by Harvest House Publishers). The ministry of his books endures, even as he enjoys his eternal reward. That’s among the blessings we can all hope for as writers.

Others among my clients faced severe health and family challenges in 2021, or the loss of a family member, and it’s been my honor to include my clients in my prayers through the year—and, on occasion, to be prayed for by my clients. That’s always a joy.

So, 2021 was … a year. But I’ll be looking back on it with gratitude, even as I look hopefully forward to 2022. I sincerely have every expectation that—abnormal though it will be—its blessings will exceed those of the recent past.

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