Clive Staples Lewis was a celebrated Anglo-Irish novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, lay theologian and Christian apologist whose impact and influence lives on.

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Lewis in Fresno

October 24th, 2005 | Skip to comments

I had the remarkable pleasure of spending five days in Fresno, CA as part of both the Narnia on Tour and as a speaker for First Presbyterian Church in downtown Fresno. I spoke four times-once at a special Wed. service, once at a reception for me, which was Q&A about CSL and what was burning in their hearts to discuss, the Narnia on Tour forum at Borders Books, and a final session at the Adult Education (“Christian Outfitters”) class on Sunday AM. All four sessions were a success in numbers and engagement-as Lewis always draws a winsome and vibrant “cloud of witnesses.” The Borders event, my first in sequence, drew about 125 people, and surprised the Borders staff by its size and enthusiasm. This is the one event focused on “the public square,” and intended to elicit the participation and interaction with readers new to Lewis or Narnia. I was pleased to greet there many new friends (and, aha, readers of my books, who bought them or brought them for signature), some of whom came from as far always as LA, San Luis Obispo, and San Diego!

Rev. David Abdo and his staff did a remarkable job of promotion and extension of the invitation to participation, with frequent radio and print ads.

Likewise, my publicist, Jennifer McAndrew, at Broadman and Holman brought my books and presence to the attention of Fresno media—and I ended up doing talk radio the night before I left, and four TV stations sending crews to the Narnia event at Borders for 5PM, 6PM, 10PM, and 11PM broadcast. The film, the life of C. S. Lewis, and, somewhat, the content of my books were thus divulged before the Fresno newsviewers for 1-2 minutes at a time!! This is kind of a cheap thrill—if they get it right, and mostly they did. This publicity thing, it’s a dangerous trap, what are we promoting, and what is it that people have come out to see? Still, it was fun to be on what was a first for me—a book signing tour. Only wished it could have been baseballs I was signing (!), but we’ll save that for another day.


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