I’m so excited to tell you today that there will be a new book with my name on coming your way in 2020.
After writing my first book, Birthed, y’all kept asking, when the next one?
So many of you felt the ending of Birthed didn’t fully satisfy your curiosity for what came next in the Hagan family. You had so many questions about the ends and outs of adoption, the birth story of my daughter and what marriage looks like after sharing some of roughest moments for all the world to see.
Well, hear me say, one day this book will be what I’ll offer.
I’ve been working on another memoir about all things unsaid in Birthed about family and adoption and mothering. I started drafting it even before Birthed had a publication date!
I’m half-way to a completed draft and even attended a 10-day workshop last summer, hoping to hone my craft with this book front and center.
But, memoirs, at least the best ones, in my opinion take time. They take years of wisdom to pen. And re-writes. Then more re-writes. More life to be lived.
And it’s not time yet for this new memoir to be born.
However, it is the time for another project!
A couple of weeks ago, I signed a contract with Upper Room Books— a publisher with a great history of putting spiritual formation resources in to the hands of congregations all around the world– for a book that I feel is timely.
So I am working on this: Taboo Church Talk: A Beginner’s Guide to Having Hard Conversations in Faith Communities. The hope is that Taboo Church Talk will be out and in your hands sometime in 2020.
This book will contain teaching sections, encouraging examples of those who are having hard conversations well and discussion questions.
My hope is that small groups of all sorts will choose to study it together.
How did I get here you might wonder?
While I was in the process of marketing Birthed– a story about long journey with infertility– I faced challenges I never anticipated.
I was so excited to share Birthed. I felt so happy to be the first pastor knew exploring her own infertility journey in a publication. But, no one (ok, I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, some people did, just maybe not as many people as I would have liked) wanted to talk about infertility.
Though these folks might have liked me. Or might have wanted to celebrate the fact that I wrote a book. But the average church person did not want to talk about infertility, especially my infertility. Too weird.
The longer I marketed Birthed, the more I felt like my topic was a cocktail of all the worst things: sexuality, shame, anger, grief, and loss. And my message was the only way you can real heal from pain is to go deeper into your pain so you can birth yourself. A light read, huh?
But, In my creativity of trying to figure out how to get people to care about my book I cared so much about, I discovered this: infertility was not the only topic that no one wanted to talk about in church.
Folks didn’t want to talk about:
and on and on.
And in our current political state where everything automatically goes to “are you on my team or not?” I couldn’t sit on this idea any longer. I knew I needed to create a resource that helped church folk talk about stuff with each other that was a part of their daily lives including but not limited to infertility.
I wanted to create a resource that would not try to persuade folks to believe in a certain way (aka be more like me) but that would keep people talking to each other. And listening. Then listening some more.
I am writing this book now and teaching it as I write this summer with my congregation, the Palisades Community Church in Washington, DC.
I am writing for all of you out there with a gay son that you love but can’t talk openly about in your Sunday School class.
I am writing for all you who attend a church where most of the members are a race that is not yours and nobody speaks of discrimination.
I am writing for all of you who know someone who walks in the doors on Sunday mornings with bruises on their faces but will not say why.
I’m so excited that Upper Room was excited about this project too and is helping me craft it in its best possible form for you or your church group to use soon.
I can’t wait to share further updates with you and plan opportunities to come to your church or small group and talk about in 2020 and beyond.
Most of all, I’m doing a happy dance over here because a new book is coming soon!