NORA ST.LAURENT – CEO of THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK
Nora is a column writer for Book Club Corner in the Christian-Fiction On-Line Magazine, also Book Club Talk for Novel Rocket and is featured in the Christian Retailers Magazine in a column she writes with her husband Fred St.Laurent called Join the Club, which featured book pick favorites that have been voted on through TBCN community and the book won the vote for Fiction or Non-fiction.
I met Nora through some online groups, including ACFW as she was the book club assistant for 2 ½ years and then became the ACFW On-Line Book Club Coordinator for 2 ½ years. She recently resigned her position as the Coordinator in March of this year as The Book Club Network has exploded book club giveaways and has over 2, 200 members.
Nora, welcome. Can you share a way God has worked in your life?
I know God has a plan for us. We are wonderfully made. No part of us is a mistake. In our weakness He is strong. He’s made us to fit in a place where we can make beautiful music and sing His praises. I have to remember that as I face my own challenges in doing what the Lord has called me to do. He’s called me to run book clubs. Not hard you say? True, a piece of cake if you’re a reader and aren’t dyslexic.
I remember the first time someone asked me to run a small book club at church. I couldn’t believe my ears. Did I give this person the impression that I read? This person said I needed to pray about the calling. She felt I was the one for the task. I went to the Lord. I got the strangest peace about leading this small group. I did work at a book store. It seemed a natural challenge to take on.
It was natural until my boss sat me down one day and said the whole staff was talking about me and that they wanted me to run a book club at the Christian book store I work at. I was petrified. I was reminded of Moses. God had asked him to go to Pharaoh and talk to him about His people. Moses didn’t speak well. He was asking me to run a book club and I didn’t read.
I was reminded of how God asks us to come to Him as small children. I was reminded of Isaac and his joy of facing the challenges before him. He knew God was with him so he ran on full steam ahead at the challenges in life. I on the other hand I reminded God that I was dyslexic and didn’t have much need for reading in my life. I had spent most of my life avoiding it. I read what I had to, but for me watching movies was a lot more fun.
The Lord told me to Fear Not He would be with me. He asked me this, “Nora can you love the ladies I put in your life the way I have loved you?”
“Is that was this is about God? If that’s the case and it had nothing to do with what I’ve read or haven’t read then count me in.”
“Yes, that’s all I’m asking you to do. I’m asking you to show the love of Jesus to the people I bring in your life.”
I went to my boss and shared the message I felt God was telling me. My boss affirmed me. He said that he saw it as an outreach to the community and a way of giving back to the customers. It was then that a book club was born.
Currently I’m running two face-to-face book clubs one at the Christian store where I work and one at my church. My husband and I also started The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org on line, connecting authors with book clubs and leaders.
We want The Book Club Network to be the place to find Christian Book events, book signings and other book fun. I’d never thought in my wildest dreams I’d be mixed up in all this. But I can see that if we walk in what He’s called us to do. He does far more than we could imagine. I’m still dyslexic and still face challenges like my son. But God has restored the bad memories of my past and brought amazing fun to reading and writing. I’ve learned that in my weakness He is strong and gets all the Glory!
What is your favorite bible verse and why?
"He said to me, "'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'
"Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Then he said to them, “…….do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Thank you Nora for agreeing to this interview and sharing your writing experience with us.
It’s been a Pleasure being here Carrie!! Thanks for asking me to share. I’m excited about The Book Club Network’s second year Birthday party in August where we’ll be giving away 10 books a day. Thanks for letting your readers know about this!!
The Book Club Netowork
Great giveaways all month long at TBCN! Leave a comment here, too, for a special OTT-WGH giveaway this week in honor of Nora and Fred!