Meet the Heroes from A Dozen Apologies: Collin Tate

2014 January 24

A DOZEN APOLOGIES FINAL FRONT COVER (282x425)In case you haven’t gotten word, there’s a new heroine in town, and she owes apologies to twelve different fellows. Here’s the scoop:

Mara Adkins, a promising fashion designer, has fallen off the ladder of success, and she can’t seem to get up.

In college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game, and Mara was usually the winner. She’d date men she considered geeks, win their confidence, and then she’d dump them publicly. When Mara begins work for a prestigious clothing designer in New York, she gets her comeuppance. Her boyfriend steals her designs and wins a coveted position. He fires her, and she returns in shame to her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where life for others has changed for the better.

Mara’s parents, always seemingly one step from a divorce, have rediscovered their love for each other, but more importantly they have placed Christ in the center of that love. The changes Mara sees in their lives cause her to seek Christ. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them. A girl with that many amends to make, though, needs money for travel, and Mara finds more ways to lose a job that she ever thought possible.

Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward employment and toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men she humiliated to find that God truly does look upon the heart, and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.

Today, we’re hearing from Collin Tate.

Tell us a little about yourself: where you’re from, what you studied in college, what you do now?

I’m Collin Tate, and I’m originally from Columbia. My dad is a minister there. He wanted me to follow in his footsteps and go to a private Christian college, but I felt the lure of excitement from USC. With my baseball skills, I had a pretty good chance of going wherever I chose, and he didn’t stand in my way. I was set to be the starting pitcher during junior year there, until I got sucked into Mara-land. My arm was pretty shot by then anyway though.

bigstock-Coffee-On-Vacation-49955129After I left USC, I got a BBA online and used some connections to join a group investing in coffee shops across the south. I own four of The Brim Cafés. I prefer to stick with the one in downtown Spartanburg, though. That has become home. The people there, workers and customers alike, have become like part of my family. Many of them even go to my church.

 

How did you meet Mara Adkins and what did you think about her when you first met?

I noticed Mara at a Greek Fundraiser. All the different houses had something to sell. Hers was selling buttons with big lips on them and the motto, “I kissed a Beta.” Since they were also handing out their phone numbers, they sold quite a lot of buttons. Ha. Those girls could sell binoculars to a blind man.

But Mara. She was stunning. I wasn’t the only one to notice. And I thought her draw was all in her looks until a couple of weeks later when we met outside one of the buildings. Most people ignored me when I was working. But she introduced herself. Now, of course, I realized it was all part of her game, but then, I was impressed.

We talked for almost a half hour. She made me laugh but also showed a vulnerable side. I don’t even know if she realized it. Every time she spoke about her classes, she picked at one of her fingernails. After a few minutes, I clued into her nervousness about school. Especially chemistry. I wasn’t great at chemistry, but I thought, for the sake of her manicure, I should try and help her out.

I was flattered that she even spoke to me. True, I was an athlete, but I hadn’t done anything great in that area, yet. And I was a year behind her. I guess I assumed she was way out of my league.

And I was right. I just didn’t know it at the time.

Mara did some pretty ugly things to a few guys. How did you feel about her when she broke up with you so publicly? How did you handle the embarrassment?

It’s hard to even talk about that party at the glade. The smell. The guys yelling in my face. The sorority girls laughing at me. By then, I’d felt a connection with Mara. I’d wanted to share the faith that the Lord was restoring in me with her, but waited for the right time. She’d been so real, so genuine. Guess I waited too long.

Man, when I fall, I plummet, huh?

All through the chewing-out with the cops, I kept the party at the glade under wraps. I didn’t want to see her in trouble. And after my coach tore out a piece of me, he gave me a chance to give up the truth as well. Even asked specifically if my breaking curfew and unacceptable condition had anything to do with the girl I’d been seeing. I didn’t let on then, either. That’s probably why he suspended me, which cost me my scholarship. Since I wouldn’t be able to finish school there, I left.

No, that’s not entirely true. I also moved on because I didn’t feel I could keep the incident quiet if I stayed. One of the vice presidents had targeted misbehaving Greeks. The Betas might well have lost their whole chapter if the story got out.

Be truthful here. Did you every think of paying Mara back for the cruel game she and her sorority sisters played? If so, what did you think of doing? If not, why not?

Seeing her again shocked the tar out of me. I can’t believe I raised my voice, though. I don’t even yell at the TV screen during Braves’ games. I guess I was angrier than I realized. And her words of being a Christian, at the time, seemed so empty.

I’ve never wished anything bad for her. However, seeing her dipped in chocolate, now, that was priceless.

But hearing her pray for that girl who caused the problem? I don’t have words for how that moved me. And shamed me for doubting her sincerity.

What do you think of Mara today?

She’s become the woman I originally thought her to be, and more. I’m ecstatic. You’d think I’d have all kinds of closure, as well, but I don’t. Her newfound faith opens a fresh chapter. Every time I think of her, and that’s gotten more and more often, something inside starts spinning. Possibilities stir up. I’m not even sure I want to hope, and yet she’s never far from my mind.

Mara’s reunion with Collin is posted today at Write Integrity Press. His author isn’t being revealed because the project authors (and our fearless editor) believed it would be fun for you, the reader, to vote for your favorite hero. Voting will open at Write Integrity Press on the day the last hero’s chapter is presented, February 5. Voting will be opened until February 8. The votes will be tabulated, and the winning hero gets the final chapter in the novella when it is offered free on Kindle beginning February 14.

The authors hope you have joined in on the fun. If you haven’t, here are a few sights where we have been having the best time:

Mara’s Facebook page

The You Know Your Job is Odd When… Facebook page where we’re sharing funny stories, memories, etc., about odd jobs we’ve all had.

Update:

Have you read each of the hero’s interviews? If not, click on their names below. If so, do you have a favorite? Well, the time has come to vote for him at Write Integrity Press. The winning hero gets the last chapter in the book, and he also might just win Mara’s heart.

David Hansen

Dominic Cardano

James Green

Chip Linton

Ted Rivers

Russ Farlow

Elliott Weston

Connor Martin

Derrick Howzer

Brent Teague

Remy Perone

 

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