I just had breakfast with Famous Christian Book Agent, Greg Johnson, star maker to … any number of authorial types. He stopped by to see me as part of his whirlwind California Clients Tour. Having chowed, he went north to Orange County to see a potential client, whilst I came to the Starbucks at which I presently find myself ensconced.
Ensconced. Huh? Huh? No wonder I have an agent, right?
Now, because Greg and I are involved in the rough and tumble world of Christian publishing, we have conversations typical of those who play the publishing game at its highest levels. Today our confab went:
Me: You’re still my agent, right?
Greg: Yeah, sure. Why not. You gonna’ eat that bacon?
Me: Yes. So for sure you’re still my agent, right?
Greg: Yes. I told you. What is it with you?
Me: ‘Cuz I’ve got lots of great book ideas, you know. Lots of ’em! Some really good ones, too.
Greg: Let’s hear one.
Me: Um. You mean right now?
Me: Um. Okay. Um. Well, I was thinking “The Shack” was a great book, right? Sold millions.
Me: So I was thinking we could do one called “The Shaq”! All about Shaquille O’Neal! Only from a Christian point of view! You know: He’s the center of his team; God should be the center of our team. Shaq misses a lot of free throws; we sometimes miss the collection plate when we try to throw our change in it. A lot of their time in a game is spent sitting on wooden benches; a lot of our time in church is spent sitting on wooden benches. There’s all kinds of parallels like that!
Greg: Seriously? Are you kidding?
Me: Hey, I’ve got other ideas if you don’t like that one. Cuz that’s the thing about me: I’m an idea guy. That’s what you need, right? An idea guy. You’d never drop a client who was a good idea guy, would you?
Me: And that’s why I’ve got another good idea besides “The Shaq.” Are you ready?Greg: Sure.
Me: Are you ready to have your mind blown?
Me: Okay, hold onto your hat, now. What’s the biggest selling Christian book of all time? Huh? Huh? What is it? Quick.
Greg: The Bible.
Me: Okay, besides the Bible.
Greg: I don’t know. “Purpose Driven Life.”
Me: Yes! Exactly! You read my mind! It’s “The Purpose Driven Life”!
Me: Okay? Ready? Cuz here it is. Here it comes. Welcome to your future, Greg. Picture this: “The Porpoise Driven Life.”
Me: Don’t you love it?! “The Porpoise Driven Life!” Think about it! What’s hot right now? The environment! It’s all anybody’s talking about! It’s the ultimate hot topic! Well, what’s the biggest part of the environment? The ocean! And what’s everyone’s favorite fish? The porpoise! Slam dunk, baby! Money on the table! A Christian book about the environment!
Greg: Yeah, listen, I’ve got to get running. Can you pick up our tab here? Thanks.
John: But wait! You’re the agent. You’re supposed to pay.
Greg: Trust me. I have.
That Greg. He’s always joking. But as he jogged across the street to his waiting rental car, I couldn’t help but think of all the serious work we’d just accomplished. One, maybe two books agreed on! All I have to do now is write the proposals, send ’em to Greg, sit back, and wait for the offers to roll in.