Five years ago, I had something to say. In fact, I thought there were others like me who wanted to cut through the small talk and discuss serious questions and theological implications. My motivation to write a book was to provide a tool for this to happen. I never really thought it would be real. Published. In your hands. But somehow, it will be very soon.
And yet once you become an author, you actually have to raise awareness and get people to, gasp, BUY your book. Not only do I have a huge passion for women to read it and discuss its contents, there is the other issue that I am a housewife who has invested much time in this project. I am confident that doing this study with my girls will be very beneficial for us, and I pray glorifying to God. But I would also like to contribute to my family financially the modest amount projected for the time I have put into this.
Because of my strong convictions as an ordinary person who thinks knows that the gospel conveys extraordinary grace, I didn’t shy away from a few controversial issues. I’m actually expecting equally passionate people from other perspectives to disagree. And I respect that. I look forward to sharpening conversations. My publisher has provided some of that for me in the editing process. Thankfully, they have also supported my voice, my convictions.
But I expect some negative reviews. It comes with my decision.
What I didn’t think about seriously while writing—maybe because I didn’t want to really look at the reality of publishing—was this moment. The reveal. The sell.
Heck, just signing the contract was scary with it’s moral turpitude clause. It’s like trying not to think about a pink elephant. Can I be the real deal and be honest? Is my Christian walk up to the standards of Christian publishing?
Along with these concerns, is my obligation to provide a picture for marketing, as well as a book trailer. I’ve never even had professional family pictures taken because I hate how staged they are. I prefer letting the moment happen, or forcing my clan together for a casual snap when we’re on an outing. So I asked my neighbor who does photography as a hobby to take some shots of me in my back yard (which is now also my blog picture). It feels weird to pose for your “marketing picture.” And I asked my brother to put together my trailer video with me. He’s got some experience with the martial arts studio he runs.
I’m trying to keep it real. I’m just a housewife theologian. Most of the scenes in the video are clips from ordinary family events. Nonetheless, I’m sitting in a chair throughout the video, telling you about my book. Actually, I was talking to a video camera. How many of you have talked to a video camera, pretending like you are talking to a group of people? Can I get an amen on how strange that is? At least it was my brother on the other end of it, or I would have been even more uncomfortable than I was. For my next book, I totally plan on learning how to use nunchucks throughout the trailer. How fun will that be?
Housewife theologian is the essence of who I am. My degree is in Elementary Education and Art. I had no connections in the Christian world of writing and marketing when I began pounding on my keyboard. But I think that I represent many women and their thoughts. So did P&R. I’m very excited to get women discussing and realizing how their thoughts about God shape the way they think and behave in everyday life.
As I’m tangled up in anticipation for the book’s release, I hope to find good ways to get it into the hands of as many women as I can without being annoying. Without over-cheesing the sell. I hope to take this seriously without taking myself seriously. I hope to be faithful to my moral turpitude clause, while recognizing I’m nowhere near where I’d like to be in my sanctification. Not even close. I’m just a knucklehead housewife theologian in West Virginia. But while I’m not very important, my message is.
That is a strange tension too. I have been so driven to share how the gospel interrupts the ordinary, that I have now become an author. This is a vocation that I’ve never anticipated. The book itself is an illustration of how the gospel interrupts the ordinary. And yet, now it’s wrapped up in a pretty paperback package for $12.99.
My daughters put it all in perspective when I showed my mother-in-law its pre-order listing on Amazon. She began to read the listing and said, “Aimee, this is really impressive!” As I was reveling in those words that every daughter-in-law longs to hear, Zaidee interrupts, “Ten bucks! (what the pre-order price was at the time) I’m not paying ten bucks for that!” My older daughter, Solanna, chimed in, “Paperback? I prefer a hardback myself.”