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.)

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on July 13, 2010, in Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I personally think you are going to excel in this brave new world.

    Also, as a general rule of thumb in the literary world, there can never be enough zombies. Even though they are the dumbest monsters of all. Well, maybe second after those big oozy gelatinous monsters.

  2. Are you sure it’s safe to insult zombies in public like that? I’m sure that by now at least a few IT people have been turned into zombies (actually, don’t most IT people start out that way?). And I bet these tech-savvy zombies keep the rest of them informed about hate speech like this.

  3. The great thing about zombies is that they are typically really dumb. Any zombie ITs will instantly have all the html in their heads instantly transformed into that traditional zombie mantra, “BRAINSBRAINSBRAINS!”

  4. You may have noticed that the html gets transformed instantly and then instantly again. It’s just that fast.

  1. Pingback: Proof that zombies are smarter than we think they are « scientia et sapientia

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