John Wins: When Rob Bell’s Editor Calls

About a month ago I received an email from one Rob Bell.

“You are awesome” was all it said.

I answered back, “Thanks for your ‘you are awesome.’ Whether you’re the ‘real’ Rob Bell or not, I of course appreciate it just the same. (And if you are the Love Wins Rob Bell, good job on your book!)”

Turned out it was, in fact, the Rob Bell who wrote Love Wins. Who turned out to be an exceptionally nice guy.

Three weeks later I got an email from Rob Bell’s book editor, whom Rob had suggested look me up.

This morning I talked to that editor on the phone for ninety minutes.

Another nice guy!

And people say it doesn’t pay to know no one in real life and be a complete shut-in. Pffft. Losers.

No, but so here’s where it’s at: I’m going to write the book I would most want to write next under any circumstances. Once that book is finished I’ll send it to the editor who called me today. If he likes it, we’ll see where we’re then all at.

I would prefer to finish the book before showing it to him or any other publisher, because doing a book deal in the normal way — where you take advance money based on a book’s outline and a few sample chapters — almost can’t help but compromise the organic and utterly independent process that I believe indispensable to the writing of a creatively, intellectually, and spiritually honest book.

Rob’s editor understood and respected that, which I loved.

So there we have it. I’m looking forward to writing this book, and in so doing will continue to be grateful to the readers of this blog, who every single day do so much to encourage, guide, and inspire me.

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  • Scott

    As my teenage son might say, this is covered in AwesomeSauce.


  • Ew. I mean, thanks!

  • Richard W. Fitch

    You are most entitled to be in the company of Rob Bell, Jay Bakker, Chad Holtz – just to name a few of my favoriites. Will be looking forward to the product of this endeavor.

  • How cool – Congrats!

    Happy writing!

  • Mary


  • Paul

    Congratulations, John… you’ve earned it.

  • Megan Turner

    ‘Awesome Sauce’ – reminds me of a quote from Timon in “The Lion King”: “Slimy but satisfying!” Anyway, this is awesome and I wish you great joy with it. Looking forward to reading more John Shore.

  • tana

    That’s pretty freaking great.

  • Bryan

    Congrats John! Maybe you too can write a book like Rob’s and be launched into Twitter infamy by the negative response from fundamentalists!! Best of Luck!

  • Denise

    I agree with Scott. This announcement is covered in awesomesauce and rolled in julienned slices of WOOT!!

    Congrats, John–can’t wait to read it! Hope the creative process is as rewarding as birth; but without all the screaming and mess. (Though, if you can get an epidural, go for it, they’re basically awesomesauce in an I.V. format!)

  • Hell yeah! 😉

  • Kara

    You are such a badass, John. No matter how things pan out, I can’t wait to read whatever you write next.

  • Maryb

    Congrats!!! That is such great news!

  • Jim

    Here’s looking forward to the tweet, “Farewell John Shore.”

  • Richard lubbers

    I always thought you and Rob were twin sons of different mothers. Way to go John!

  • Kristen I.

    Same here! Congrats to you!

  • Kudos John.

  • melissa

    So one day, can we all say, “I knew him when….?” John, when you are a gifted writer and true to your heart, the way that it was created, raw and logical, this is the reward. I am going to save my John Shore Tshirt bc i am going to sell it on ebay one day for millions. Get your write on, sir.

  • Rockinest comment EVER. Thank you.

  • Thanks, Rocco! (Um. I want your name.)

  • RICHARD LUBBERS! Thank you.

  • Well, of course, you can’t be kicked out of a party no one ever asked you to attend. But … yeah!

  • For them. (Ark. Kidding.)

  • “I’m a badass.” I do believe that’s going to be my new slogan. NO: I want that on my TOMBSTONE.

    “I was such a badass.”


  • Oh, no! The fundies have invaded!

    Oh, sorry: that’s not what you meant. Thank you, Tamara.

  • FUNNY!! What a great comment. “Julienned slices of WOOT.” I am so stealing that. I love it. Thank you.

  • Susan in NY

    Mazel tov!

  • Mindy

    What Kara said!!! This is truly fabulous news.

  • Diana A.

    What Mary said. Congratulations!

  • You are such an excellent writer, and I love how you never compromise. I have been repeatedly inspired and challenged by your worldview and commitment to your core values. Most importantly, your heart of compassion speaks incredible amounts of grace to marginalized and rejected people. I will pray that God blesses this opportunity for you, and I hope you can impact millions of people.

    Also wanted to let you know how much you have inspired me. My church is in an area filled with religious and political ultra-conservatives. I have always had a heart for members of the LGBT community, but they have all been rejected by the church in this area. Whenever a church leader steps out and attempts to just love people into life (without feeling the need to call them on their “sin”), that leader is immediately condemned on “Christian Radio”. They actually name names and urge people to boycott that church. I decided to say “screw the backlash”, and we are having a booth at the local Pride Fest. We are going to just love people, pray for those in need, and let them know that we are a safe and welcoming place. I attribute a lot of my willingness to take a risk to your consistent advocacy. I was already convicted and agreed with your stand. You inspired me to do something more intentional about it. So, if my church tanks as a result, I may be moving in with you. ;^)

    Sorry for the long comment, but I think you’re great! I hope this opportunity launches your work into the lives of even more people!

  • DR

    Pen name.

  • Shannon

    I’ve been saying for a year that you’re the Bomb Dot Com. And the bombdiggity. And other assorted groovy things that get squinched together in my head.

    Oh, and “I’ve got 2 autographed books! I’ve got 2 autographed books! And the shirt!”

  • Sheri Ferber

    Thank you so much John for caring enough about your craft to share the journey with us. Your transparency is such a huge part of why I enjoy reading you. That and your utter astoundingly amazing ability to paint a picture with words the way you do.

    PS…I am not one bit surprised this guy wants a piece of what you have going on!

  • Badass.

    Now you must be fitted for your longcoat.

  • Bill: What an extremely touching “comment.” Thank you for this; it means a very great deal to me. When is the Pride Fest near you? Please take pictures of the booth if you guys do one; I’ll post in on my blog with a story of your brave and wonderful deed. God bless you, brother.

  • thank you for this, Sheri. What extremely sweet things to say.

  • “Squinched.” I love it. Thanks, Shannon, for your terrific support.

  • Suz

    I’m so SO happy for you! I hope the book takes off like a rocket! I recommend your blog to people all the time; everyone should be reading you!

  • I will now perform the dance of joy.

    Seriously, congrats and hooray! It’s not even written yet and I already can’t wait to read it.

  • EXCELLENT and AWESOME news! And totally unsurprising, because you ARE the real deal, John.

  • I don’t know about you, but my face would still be aching from the uncomfortable permagrin and there would have been ACTUAL dancing in the house to the degree of sending the pets into hiding.

    This is so totally awesome! We’re so excited for you and with you! And as my kids say, “My favorite part is the crunchy goodness.” Thanks for sharing your crunchy goodness with all of us.

    Love the title, BTW.

  • It couldn’t have happened to a better guy, a more talented communicator, or a more necessary message. I’ll be the first person in line to buy your book, John.

    Screw tweeting “Farewell, Rob Bell”, I’ll be tweeting “Give us more, John Shore!”.

    This news is 7 flavours of awesome!

  • Roger McClellan

    It couldn’t happen to a nicer or more deserving guy.

    Yours is a voice much needed. I look forward to it getting a larger platform to stand upon!

  • Don Rappe

    John! John! Badass John! Slices woots with awesomesauce. The song that almost writes itself.

  • Almost!

  • This is almost as great as announcing that you’ve decided to become a Christian Mime troupe and tour the world spreading the Gospel. Almost.