October 4, 2011
Friends with Manuscripts
Thanks to our online publicist, Adrianna Wright, for contributing this post!
Isn't it a relief when you meet someone who just gets it? Someone who isn't afraid to ask the hard questions and willing to be honest about his failings. Someone who cares deeply about Scripture and also has a fantastic sense of humor. Someone who seeks to be obedient but has a tender heart.
So describes my friend Jamie Arpin-Ricci. Jamie has blogged for a number of years, and it's through his blogging that I first came to know him. Over three years ago, Tom Sine recommended that I send a copy of his book New Conspirators to some Canadian bloggers, so I reached out to Jamie to see if he'd be interested in receiving a review copy. Indeed he was, and thus our relationship began.
Given my job as online publicist, I spend a decent amount of time staying in touch with bloggers about book requests and (hopefully!) ensuing reviews, so much of my interaction with Jamie followed along these standard lines. Yet after a while, another thread began to emerge in our communication. In the summer of 2009, Jamie offhandedly mentioned that a few of the books I'd sent (Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle and How to Inherit the Earth) had been "very influential in my own book (in process)".
Well forgive me, but I work for a book publisher, and when someone whose writing I respect just happens to say that a book might be lurking within, I jump all over it! And so it was that I learned Jamie was working on a book about St. Francis as "a timely and timeless example for the church in a post-Christian world." Hmm ...
Fast-forward to January 2010, when Jamie wrote to apprise me of a number of reviews that he'd written and to request a few more books. He also let me know that he "had to shelve the St. Francis project temporarily, as I am finalizing a volume on the Sermon on the Mount as missional and communal formation."
So I responded in typically professional fashion with, "Ooh, the book you're working on sounds yummy. Do you think it would be a good fit in our Likewise line?"
Well, over the next few months Jamie began to finalize his proposal. After he sent me the first draft of the proposal, I decided it was time to hand it over to Dave Zimmerman, who as an editor, actually acquires manuscripts ... So in May 2010, we officially acquired Jamie as an IVP author and slated The Cost of Community for November 2011!
In June this year, I finally had a chance to meet Jamie at the Wild Goose Festival, and I'm pleased to report that Jamie in person is exactly like the Jamie I had come to know through his writing. In short, Jamie gets it, and you should get his book.
"The familiar terrain of the Sermon on the Mount yields fresh insights and challenges in this grace-filled book. Wisdom gained from St. Francis and from life in the Little Flowers Community illuminates Jesus' central teachings in ways that help us see clearly their beauty, relevance and possibility."
--Christine D. Pohl, Ph.D., professor of social ethics, Asbury Theological Seminary