My book is on the way.
I’ve signed a contract with Eerdmans for my first book, working title Blessed Are the Barren: The Fruits of Infertility. That’s why this newsletter has been sparse lately: I’ve been bursting with anticipation since July 12, when I received word that an offer was forthcoming. I’m thrilled that this is now official.
This book is not the Virgin Mary memoir I labored over for the four years of my MFA program. I sent that one out to agents and publishers for all of 2020, in between and during all of my various cancer treatments. One editor, David Bratt, sent me a kind, encouraging rejection in February 2021, about how much he liked my writing but now hard it is right now to sell memoirs like mine. I remembered how Keely Boeving, an agent who had kindly rejected the same memoir for the same reason almost a year before, had encouraged me to pursue Blessed Are the Barren instead. I had mentioned it as a potential future project in the memoir’s proposal: a book disputing the idea that motherhood is the highest calling for Christian women, holding up biblical figures, monastics, reformers, civil rights leaders, and other women who did not have children. Keely wrote in March 2020, “f you do end up writing more for that project, I’d love to take a look down the road.”
After David’s rejection, I wrote a proposal and two chapters for Blessed Are the Barren, pitched Keely again, and after some changes and back and forth, was thrilled when she offered representation. Through her, I signed with Eerdmans, initially through the same kind editor who sent that nicest rejection back in February, although he has since left to start his own literary agency.
I’ve longed to publish a book my whole life and cannot describe how it feels to have a signed contract. Of course, now I also have to actually write the book. So…see you all after April 15, when it’s due. Which, as it turns out, is Good Friday. I CANNOT BELIEVE I CONSENTED TO TURN IN A BOOK DURING HOLY WEEK. I didn’t pay any attention to the day (other than thinking I would probably need to file for an extension on my taxes, as usual) until after I signed, and now I can’t stop laughing.
Until I turn this manuscript in, I doubt I will be able to issue this newsletter more often monthly, although I’d like turn to an Advent devotional, so could write more frequently in November/December. We’ll see how autumnal writing goes.
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What I’m Writing
Sermon (about Proverbs 31, argh)
Sermon (on the epistle, which I almost never preach from)
What I’m Reading:
Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley Ford: Haven’t finished this memoir yet. Riveting. Breathtaking writer.
The Turnout by Megan Abbott. Creepy.
Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. I’ve been on a kick with books about the Trojan War/Greek mythology from women’s perspectives. This one was outstanding.
Women of Troy by Pat Barker. Sequel to above.
Unfinished Business, J.A. Jance: I enjoy mysteries by this author.