Flirting with Faith

Flirting with Faith


Calling All Writers…

posted by Joan Ball

 
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.     


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cattleman180

posted November 12, 2008 at 8:13 pm


I am writing a book right now. I am an unknown also. I have a publicist. They are very interested in my book. I am going through a divorce and it has been a yar from Hell. But I am going to make it. I have to be careful what I write as I am under a lot of pressure and scrutiny. I don’t know how I found this blog…I just ended up here.



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cattleman180

posted November 12, 2008 at 8:16 pm


I know how to spell Year it just came out yar.
That’s swift on my first entry on a site that is all about being a writer…good start..



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Doc'

posted November 13, 2008 at 3:33 am


Hello Joan,
As I am currently studying and writing on the opposite end of the spectrum you now find yourself on, I have a few questions for you if you don’t mind? 1. What lead you to be atheistic in the first place? Were you exposed to the Church as a child? 2. Did the Academia shape your beliefs or even persuade you to reject God? 3. Throughout your years as a practicing atheist, did you experience an internal conflict or sense of “doing wrong” despite your professed beliefs? If so, did it manifest as anger towards others or self-destructive tendencies or even both? Thanks in advance for your input and time.
(As these are fairly personal questions, we can communicate by email if you prefer)
Doc’



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Joan Ball

posted November 13, 2008 at 11:08 pm


Hi Cattleman180: Thanks for stopping by and all the best on your book project.
Doc: I did not grow up in the church and I never believed in God. I wanted to. I was fascinated by the notion. it just never happened for me. Academia did not shape my beliefs one way or the other. As for doing wrong…my notion of doing right or wrong was very much tied to personal interest. Doing the wrong thing didn’t bother me as much as getting caught or having some other negative outcome did. I hope that is helpful…



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Trish Ryan

posted November 16, 2008 at 5:59 pm


Congratulations! That’s wonderful!!!
Which publishing house are you with?



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Joan Ball

posted November 16, 2008 at 11:31 pm


Hi Trish: I am with Howard Publishing, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. I am really excited.



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