Christmas came early this year when, more quickly than anticipated, I received notice that the book I’d been working on for nearly three years was not only going to be published a little ahead of what we’d thought, but that some of the early endorsements were in.
The book, “Redeemed by Grace,” a conversion story, will be officially “out there” the middle of next month. The Christmas season set it back slightly from its Feb. 3 “due date.” But the marketing of the story is well underway now.
I can honestly say that reading those first reactions was one of the biggest thrills of my life. After keeping this story close to our hearts for what felt like a very long time, Ramona (the subject of the book) and I had the privilege of taking a peek at first reactions. Reading them, I was filled with such excitement, even elation, because of all this story has come to mean to me and the gift I believe it will be to many.
Here are some snippets:
It is a very special thing to be part of a project that has the potential to bless so many people. I want the work I do to make a difference, and from the start, I knew this project had that potential.
I also expect some will be challenged by the book. One of our endorsers even used that word, “challenging,” to describe her reaction. And that’s okay. I would hope any story would be challenging on some level. That’s how we grow. But I also love her conclusion:
I can’t help but think of Flannery O’Connor’s comment at this juncture in her own book-writing:
“I am about convinced now that my novel is finished. It has reached the stage where it is a pleasure for me to type it so I presume it is done….This is the best stage — before it is published and begins to be misunderstood.” (The Habit of Being)
It’s going to be awfully hard to misunderstand Ramona’s story, however. Rather than a work of fiction with all the intricacies that entails, it’s very plainly drawn, a journey of a soul, and it’s hard to argue that. In sharing her story, Ramona has agreed to turn her soul inside-out because she believes that doing so will make a difference. Maybe it will spare others the anguish she endured. And if not, it should leave people with a sense of hope, as Lisa said. We both want this, and our publisher does, too, or they would not have taken the chance on it that they have.
So, here we are. We are close now to the day when we can share this story with others. It’s an exciting time for us and we are praying that all who read this work will be blessed in some way.
It’s not my story, but I believe in it, and I look forward to helping set it free. I am grateful for these first reactions, which come from such good hearts — some of whom I know personally and others, more on the periphery. Either way, we are grateful for such beautiful, hopeful, positive words as we work to get this project off the press and into your hands.
Q4U: When has a first reaction been a gift to you?