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.

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.

  • Scott

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

    Congratulations!!!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      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.

  • http://www.JanetOberholtzer.com Janet Oberholtzer

    How cool – Congrats!

    Happy writing!

  • Mary

    LOVE!

    • Diana A.

      What Mary said. Congratulations!

  • 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!)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

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

  • http://www.tamaraoutloud.com Tamara Out Loud

    Hell yeah! ;)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Oh, no! The fundies have invaded!

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

  • Kara

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

    • Kristen I.

      Same here! Congrats to you!

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        “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.”

        Done.

    • Mindy

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

  • Maryb

    Congrats!!! That is such great news!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      For them. (Ark. Kidding.)

  • http://emergingjim.wordpress.com/ Jim

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

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

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

  • Richard lubbers

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

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      RICHARD LUBBERS! Thank you.

  • http://www.roccocapra.com Rocco

    Kudos John.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

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

      • DR

        Pen name.

  • 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.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Rockinest comment EVER. Thank you.

  • Susan in NY

    Mazel tov!

  • http://www.heresyofthemonth.typepad.com/blog Bill Sergott

    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!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      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.

  • 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!”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

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

  • 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!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

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

  • 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!

  • http://gaychristiangeek.blogspot.com Rainicorn

    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.

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

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

  • http://leap-of-fate.com/ Christy

    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.

  • http://outofthegdwaye.wordpress.com/ George W.

    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.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Almost!

  • http://www.imagodeo.com Michael

    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.


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