Out of the blue, there is new life for my book in seed form. Any sign of life is a good thing. :-) I should know more in a couple of weeks. Although I have toyed with the idea of self-publishing, I do think that this will be published in God's timing by a publisher other than myself. The endorsements for my book speak of a need for this in the Christian community; they also reveal its quality. The Lord knows the timing.
for news about a publisher, I got an email today from a Roman Catholic philosopher's (who, for the time being will go unidentified) response to my manuscript:
"I have read over your manuscript and enjoyed reading it very much. I find the subject matter fascinating. Your treatment of it is robust, thorough, balanced, well-researched, and thought-provoking. It offers a biblical foundation for its thesis, which I think is most important. It is also most definitely provocative. "
I received another endorsement today--this one from evangelical author Lilian Calles Barger. Her plug for my book reads:
"Dan Brennan provides a provocative path to rethinking our sexuality and cross-gender friendships. It may be that sex scandals and broken marriages among Christians is the result of a famine in cross-gender friendships. With sensitivity and insight Brennan explores an often uncomfortable topic and what might be the Achilles' heel of Christian relationships. A must read for people seeking to build authentic Christian community."
So I got word from Chip MacGregor my agent. We're waiting. He believes the economy has really slowed down the publishing industry, too. That does make sense. Jennifer works at Barnes and Noble and next week her hours are reduced rather than expanded. Chip has been in contact with the publishers and assured me, "people are reading your work."
As you already know, it is almost impossible these days to be around me and the subject not turn to the book. I'm sorry. I am grateful for all of you who put up with me. I'm not good at waiting; but I am also confident. That probably is the most accurate description of where I am these days. I have a sense (totally subjective, which means I could be dead wrong) that more than one publisher will express interest to publish it. I did see Jen on Tuesday and we actually went the entire lunch without discussing the book. She even ribbed me about as we went to pray afterwards. But it was cool for her to pray for the right publisher.
Thanks to Chip, my proposal is now in the hands of Zondervan, Baker, IVP, Jossey-Bass, HarperOne, and Random House.
Wow. I do appreciate your prayers for the "right publisher." Carole Hallundbaek, after reading my manuscript, commented to me, "I wouldn't worry so much about finding a publisher -- I think that will come, based on the thorough and well-developed quality of your work -- I would pray for the RIGHT publisher and contract." Coming from Carole, that means a lot. She's no lightweight when it comes to writing or scholarship.
Another theologian who will go unnamed for the moment, after seeing my endorsements, responded to me in an email: "Wow, Dan! Those comments are not just run-of-the-mill."
I am soaking this in. These are not ordinary endorsements. God is good. I now have a solid sense that this is going to be published by someone but we are not there yet.
So there we were, Jen, my single friend and I eating bowls of chili on a cold afternoon this week at Portillos. It had been a few days since we had connected f2f and she was so excited for me about Chip MacGregor and Carole Hallundbaek. She then proceeded to give me what I thought I was helpful counsel.
Someone who read my entire manuscript and has been a commentator (been on NBC, FOX, and local New York Media outlets) for religion in the media asked me in an email today in response to my book, "Why are you not a professor of theology (if I may ask)?"
Great question. Here's for hoping, praying, and dreaming. :-) I would love to teach on sexuality and friendship in some seminary (or university) setting some day.