O Me of Little Faith

I’m tired of blogging about me — and you may be tired of reading about me. So let’s talk to someone else. A couple weeks ago, I interviewed Matthew Paul Turner right after his new book released. Now it’s time to talk to a first-time writer whose book hasn’t been released yet. What are her thoughts on getting published, the writing process, and — as always — blogging.

Anne Jackson is the proprietor of the popular blog, a church media specialist who is formerly of and is soon headed to a new life in Nashville, and the author of the upcoming Mad Church Disease (Zondervan, 2009).

In Part 1 of this interview, I asked Anne about the book itself, getting a contract, having an agent, and other things you need to know.

JB: First, congratulations on the book. Tell us about Mad Church Disease. What is it about, who is it for, and why is this the subject of your first book?

Anne Jackson: Mad Church Disease is about God’s plan for a healthy lifestyle for those in ministry — not only paid church staff, but volunteers, and their families. After literally ending up hospitalized for a week just two years into my own ministry, I realized the significance of spiritual warfare. We are being attacked…and if we are broken, how can we help heal the world? If we are hopeless, how do we show hope to others? I discovered I wasn’t alone, and so many people are burning out in silence…this is a topic that needs a bright light on it.

How did you get the book contract?

Before even deciding it was going to be a book, I decided to test the waters and I launched a website for people to share their stories of pain and burnout. Within two days, I had over 1000 responses. The topic struck a chord. I went ahead and put together some sample chapters and a proposal and had some friends of mine who were published send it out. During this time, I was contacted by my now agent, Beth Jusino, from Alive Communications. There were a couple of offers for publishing, and I am so grateful for Beth to walk beside me through this process.

Do you recommend beginning writers get an agent?

I absolutely love my agent. There is so much that goes into a book being published. An agent guarantees you have someone looking out for your and the book’s best interest.

Where are you right now in the writing process?

I started writing the book in the summer of 2007, but at the advice of my agent, only wrote a couple of chapters to make sure Zondervan and I were on the same page as far as style and direction. It typically is NOT a good idea to write a full manuscript. Publishers like to help shape the book.

I turned in the manuscript in March 2008 and we are currently walking through some editing and promotional/marketing steps. It will release around Jan/Feb 2009! It’s a bit of a long turnaround intentionally, as we strategically wanted to release the book after either Christmas or Easter in order to connect with the most hurting people. A lot of people in ministry burn out after the holidays.


Come back tomorrow for the rest of Anne’s interview. In the meantime, head over to to hang out with Anne and the community there.

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