Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Making a Book (Part 1)

This past week my brain cells have mostly been firing off with words like "abdominal" and "hysterectomy." I've concluded that I'm bored of those words right now and I'd like to think some happy thoughts instead.

A few posts ago, I talked about The Gift of Writing and how I've recently been reminded again just how great a privilege it is that my thoughts were published in the form of Approaching God.

Elizabeth de Smaele wondered if I might share a little about how the book came to be. Thanks for asking, Elizabeth! Thinking on that tale will be a happy distraction from thoughts of upcoming surgeries and stitches and et ceteras (Bleech!)

In 2007 I was in Seville, Spain, at a gathering of the global 24-7 Prayer family. These are some of my favorite folk anywhere--real, ordinary, extraordinary, nothing special, entirely passionate, you-wouldn't-know-them-from-anyone-else activists who pray and live a changed world. I led a couple of seminars and spent one evening talking with an interesting woman that I'd never met before.

Time passed. I suppose someone (I have my ideas of whom) must have tipped the interesting lady off that I like to write and she contacted me. Turned out, she was an editor at Lion Hudson in the U.K. This is why you should spend the evening chatting with people you don't know ;-)

Stephanie met up with me the next time I was passing through England, which wasn't very soon. She asked me what I would have to say on prayer and I told her I thought prayer had everything to do with how we perceive God. She asked me how I would plot out a book on that and I told her I thought I'd look at different metaphors that help us understand God.

She liked it. I was kind of shocked and wondered if I was possibly on something like Candid Camera.

I went back to Tanzania and finally wrote and submitted a first chapter. Then Stephanie up and disappeared! She left Lion Hudson and took off for Dubai where her husband had recently taken a job. I was sure that was the end of that...

But along came Tony. His team had been handed the first chapter submission and, after another long wait, I found out that they liked it! I explained what the other chapters would focus on and they gave me a green light and sent me a contract, which I kept forgetting to sign and send back. (Embarrassing, I know.) Finally I DID sign it and post it back to them some time in June, 2009. We agreed I would have till September 1st to send them the manuscript.

That summer I had several healthy chunks of numerous days in a row alone at home. I settled down to write.


Alisa Wright said...

So good to hear of the origins of your book! And, so nice for you to think of something other that your surgery. :-)

Anonymous said...

I think it's a green light to KEEP WRITING! :)

Elizabeth said...

Thanks Lisa. I love your story and I have to say that I'm pretty amazed at the short time you had to write such a treasure of a book!

I'm also in awe of the photos and the design of your book, and I hope you'll share more about how those came together. (Part 1 does seem to promise a Part 2....) It was fun to flip back and forth to piece photos and photographers together. You live among one very creative bunch!

Dave Scott said...

Was the 'Tony', Tony Collins perchance?