Monday, September 19, 2011

Pay It Forward

Have you heard the expression, “Pay it forward,” and/or seen the movie starring Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment and Helen Hunt? The movie was based on the novel, Pay It Forward, by Catherine Ryan Hyde. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, I’ll give you a brief summary.

Trevor McKinney is a sweet, sensitive boy. When his social studies teacher tells the class, “The realm of possibility exists in each of you,” Trevor takes those words to heart and, for his assigned project to come up with something that will change society, he creates a plan to try to make the world a better place. He calls it “Pay it forward.” The basic premise is that, if he performs a simple act of kindness for three strangers and those three strangers do the same for three more strangers, it will create a ripple effect. Trevor had no idea how far-reaching his plan would be. There is now a Pay It Forward movement around the world, which includes a Foundation of that name and a special day each year to honor it.

We live in a dog-eat-dog world so, when I see someone taking the time to perform a simple act of kindness, it renews my faith in human nature. I’ve “met” several such people in the writing community online and I want to take this opportunity to tell them how much I appreciate what they do.

Sunny Frazier is the Acquisitions Editor for Oak Tree Press and published author of two mysteries, Fools Rush In and Where Angels Tread. I submitted a query for my first novel, Mixed Messages, to her and she replied promptly. Long story short, she seemed interested in my book but was disappointed that I hadn’t developed an online presence. I expected that to be that, but it wasn’t. 

Sunny has organized a group of writers into what she calls “The Posse” and she invited me to join. She’s taken the time to guide me (and the other Posse members) in how to market effectively, a necessity if an author wants to be published these days. I owe her a debt a gratitude whether or not she recommends my novel for publication. (Although, of course, I hope she does.) I also want to thank the Posse members and other authors who seem to have the same philosophy: to pass on what they’ve learned and to support and encourage others to achieve their dream of publication. In other words, to “Pay It Forward.”