Remembering Beverly

In case you haven’t heard, author Beverly Barton died suddenly last Thursday (4/21/11) of heart failure.

I’ll always remember her as the woman in white.

I was in Washington DC and it was the first time I’d attended the Book Expo of America, the largest book trade fair in the United States that held every year. Rows of publishers, trade booths, authors, librarians, book buyers, and celebrities filled the walkways. And there she was.

My mother saw her first and pointed her out to me—a blond woman dressed all in white, wearing a wide brimmed hat: Bestselling author Beverly Barton.

I walked over and asked for an autograph and a picture and she was gracious enough to oblige. In her sweet southern twang she asked a little about me (I told her about my current release) and left her feeling great. From that brief incident I learned three things:

1. Don’t be afraid to stand out. In a crowd of people Beverly was a beacon of light not just because of her clothes but because of her disposition. She was open and warm and made me feel welcome. Which leads me to lesson number 2

2. Be generous with your smiles. Before meeting Beverly I’d approached another author who treated me as if I had a contagious disease and as she wrote down my name she made fun of it (and actually spelled it wrong). I’ll never forget that treatment.

3. Live fully. Through her kind gestures, her works, her life will be remembered. From her website it was evident she had a loving family, friends who adored her and a career that produced more than 70 books.

Thank you for your bright light, Beverly. May it always shine.

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