Thoughts on becoming an author.

my and my book

The moment I learned I would become an author is vivid, even now, almost two years later:

11:12 a.m. on February 28, 2013.

I sat beneath the bright bulbs of the chandelier that floats over the kitchen table and grabbed my phone while a notification buzzed: an email from Patrick, the editor who that morning, had presented my book proposal to his colleagues at Ave Maria Press.

“So, I was wondering,” he had written. “How would you like to write a book for us? :)”

I — via a 30-page book proposal — essentially had asked the publisher for permission to write a book.

My heart actually pounds as I re-read Patrick’s email, the way it did when my phone buzzed, when I think about how unprepared I was that day for any answer from the publisher other than “yes.” While I wrote and revised the proposal and waited for a response after turning it in, I — frankly for lack of time — never entertained a truth that now alarms me:

The possibility existed that the publisher would say no.

While I prepared the proposal, I was going, going, going (crazy, let’s face it), buried by work at work, and work outside of work, blissfully too busy to acknowledge that the book proposal did not obligate Ave Maria Press to publish the book I had proposed.

Until the phone buzzed at 11:12 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2013.

What if they say no?

I had no time to fabricate that scenario because I knew a second after I checked the email that the publisher’s answer was yes.

Which moves me. It moves me, because what the heck? I have wanted to be an author since, like, pre-school, when I’d dictate stories that my mom would type for me on her typewriter. It moves me, because I knew that I knew that I knew that somebody needed to discuss chastity in a new way, to start a new sex conversation in a culture that is starved for one, as evidenced by the current states of the family, marriage, and sex. I am moved because I can’t believe this is real, that I have been trusted to be a person to start it.

But it is real.

So is what becoming an author required of me, which — incidentally — I also had not entertained while I prepared my book proposal.

I ended an 8-year caffeine fast. I pulled all-nighters for the first time in my entire life (true story). Once, I wrote until 5 or 6 a.m., napped until 8 and arrived at my desk at work by 10, with the set of bloodshot eyes forever preserved by this screenshot of a Snapchat:

photo (2)

Writing a book was hard. I cried. I laughed. I caused scenes by doing both of those things while writing in public places. Stress exacerbated the seasonal asthma that all but eliminated my ability to breathe. But writing this book was worth it, because being invited to write this book was not an accident.

My publisher could have said no.

But my publisher said yes.

And so, albeit haphazardly as a learn-as-I-go first time author, it was with shock, gratitude and excitement that I agreed to be one. It is with shock, gratitude and excitement that I officially launch that book this weekend. It is with sincerity that I request your prayers for all who will read it.

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