After more than four years of drafting, bumbling, abandoning projects and starting new ones I am thrilled to share that a large publishing house has agreed to take on my first book. It is a personal narrative called (surprise, surprise) Flirting with Faith: My Journey from Atheism to Agnosticism to a Devoted Life.
This is a mini-miracle for several reasons.
- I’m still floored by the fact that I wound up a Christian in the first place, so becoming a Christian author is further evidence that God both has a sense of humor and that He can (and does) do things that are beyond our wildest expectations.
- New and untested voices are risky for publishers and I am about as much of a nobody from nowhere as one can be in this marketplace.
- While I’ve had articles published in magazines, I have no big ministry or church or radio/tv show to use as a stepping-off point to promote this book. This is a real sticking point for most publishers.
- I am writing a personal narrative which is a tough sell in any market, not to mention today’s competitive and changing publishing marketplace.
And yet, against the odds, I find myself with a fantastic agent, an incredibly supportive editor and a February 15 deadline to produce and deliver a 60,000 word manuscript for release in Spring of 2010.
So, like my own blogging reality show, I am shifting the focus of my ConversantLife.com
blog. From today forward (with a few exceptions I am sure) I hope to open a conversation with other aspiring and working writers about the joys and challenges of writing. From esoteric questions like what it takes to find and authentic voice to practical matters like what it takes to find an agent, I am hoping that this blog (which has now been moved from the “Spirituality” category to “Creative Arts”) will be a source of shared information, encouragement, collaboration and prayer for people who feel called to write.
In addition to sharing anything useful that I have learned so far and my ups and downs as journey from here to Spring 2010, I am hoping to interview authors, agents, publishers, magazine editors, marketers, book club leaders and anyone else who might help us to grow in our pursuit of the writing life.
If you are a writer or you’re interested in writing, I hope you’ll join me.