My Breakfast With My Christian Book Agent

flipper

Coming soon to a book store near you!

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?

Greg: Sure.

Me: Um. Okay. Um. Well, I was thinking “The Shack” was a great book, right? Sold millions.

Greg: Right.

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?

Greg: No.

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?

Greg: Sure.

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”!

Greg: Okay.

Me: Okay? Ready? Cuz here it is. Here it comes. Welcome to your future, Greg. Picture this: “The Porpoise Driven Life.”

Greg: What?

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.

I’m gonna see if Flipper’s still alive to do the cover of the book. He was a porpoise, right? Well, close enough. I mean, let’s face it: “The Dolphin Driven Life” is just a stupid idea.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://www.LifeVerseJewelry.com Christine Smith

    This is so funny it lightens my day! Thanks for sharing your breakfast conversations! My pastor calls this the "Starbucks Ministry" because so many great Biblical conversations happen at the coffee shop.

  • http://www.courageoussingleparenting.blogspot.com Scoti Springfield Do

    What a hilarious post! I just signed with Greg's agency, but with Rachelle. He's a great guy. Worked at the same organization he did years ago.

  • http://www.jennyweber.com Jenny

    No one will ever publish me and I can't afford Fivebucks coffee, but I do remember that Flipper was faster than lightning!

    I hope that helps …

  • http://mymenandme.wordpress.com Janelle

    Just make sure your new book has one of those cool, catchy titles, like: The Joyful Sadness, The Complicated Simplicity, the Fearful Bravery…

  • Leif Sr.

    Awesome! Don't you love deep meaningful agent relationships? Flipper was cool, but I aways went for the purple dolphin…must've been a hippy thing.

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty (Michael)

    You go, dude.

    That inspired me to my own debut idea — "Your Breast Life Now". Joel Osteen's got nuthin' compared to hundreds of pages of boobie tales!

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Hmmmmm

    A Christian book on the environment…..

    I though Jesus' return was imminent … that's what Sarah Palin's church says. So how about the title "Don't Worry, Be Happy" for a book on the environment.

    ( ….oh! That's right….Jesus return has been imminent since the year 0040. :-) )

  • Greta Sheppard

    John, I needed to laugh today….you are totally hilarious!

    Must be the Starbucks coffee that gives you the mental adrenaline!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Mike, is there any way for you to not be a dick for one second?

  • Richard Lubbers

    What a great blog! It was just what I needed to start my day. Still grinning.

  • http://www.1truebeliever.wordpress.com wickle

    Was Flipper really faster than lightning? I know the theme song said so, but … you know … I think it was exaggerating a little.

  • http://www.LifeVerseJewelry.com Christine Smith

    Thanks to you, I can't get the Fipper Faster than Lightening song out of my head! How sad my own children can't fall in love with a gentle dolphin like I did. Don't forget Lassie…another animal of courage and strength.

  • http://www.shapingstories.com Joanie Cole

    Since y'all love Flipper so much. . . And since the song is now entrenched in my head . . . here is the link so you too or youtube (ha ha) can sing along!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH48uuofr60

  • http://christianranter.wordpress.com Des

    You could have suggested a book based on the parallels between the Christian life and raising livestock.

    Every Man’s Cattle.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    See John?….

    I'm not so bad :-)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Joanie: It freaked me out how much I REMEMBERED the lyrics to the song of a show I haven’t seen in 40 years and THOUGHT I never watched all that often anyway. Yow.

    Des: HILARIOUS!

  • http://honestfaith.blogspot.com Barry

    Sorry, John – someone else got the idea before you!

    http://www.theporpoisedivinglife.com

    Also, if I may take this opportunity for some shameless self-promotion, my contribution to the PDL site can be read here:

    http://www.theporpoisedivinglife.com/porpoise-diving-life.asp?pageID=478

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Well, but see, I suggested “The Porpoise Driven Life”—and this is “The Porpoise Diving Life.” So you see those aren’t the same at all.

      (OK, joking aside: do you know a Christian agent actually wrote to ASK me about that book? Life, for real?! I just about died.)

  • Pingback: 10 Sure-fire Bestsellers I Would Love to Write | LifeVesting

  • Anony

    Great post… Although ensconced or whatever the heck that word you made up at the start of this post may not have landed you an agent, it's clear here in the rest of the post why you did.


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