The uncertainties of entering a new literary world
I just pushed send on the first query email for the Gospel book that I’ve been working on. Somewhat surprisingly, I’m more nervous about this book than any of the academic writing that I’ve done. I think it’s because academic work has rules that I understand: solid research + interesting argument + clear writing = good book. I can handle that. Moving into the sphere of popular literature raises issues that I just haven’t had to deal with before. Is it creative? Will it sell? Will everyone understand that word? Is it okay to have chunks of zombie flesh falling into a cup of coffee? (I guarantee that last question never entered my head when writing my other books.) Although I’ve read broadly in this world, writing is a whole new endeavor. And, at times, I feel like a tourist in a new land wondering what rules I’ve unwittingly violated.
Regardless, it’s been an interesting experience. Whatever else comes out of this, I’ll have glimpsed what writing looks like in a different sphere. (Come to think of it, it’s a lot like learning to write in the blogosphere.)