Writing Called felt like getting naked in front of a crowded room.
Some of the people you know. Some of the people are perfect strangers. Either way, the fear is what they will think, and whether they'll laugh.
That's why I chose to start the book by turning to the wisdom of Mr. Bob Dylan himself:
"Bob Dylan once said a poem is a naked person. I’m not much of a poet, but I hope you’ll excuse me if I go ahead and take off all these layers."
Called launched just over a week ago. And after many, many months of held breath and clenched teeth, just waiting for the response, it's been a relief not to hear any laughter.
In fact, it's been an incredible joy to hear from folks I know who have just finished reading my book and wanted to let me know the particular scenes they loved. Or from those I've never met but who were so glad they stumbled upon Called in a local bookstore or online. As well as from other authors I know who've generously taken their time to write full reviews.
Like Melissa and Erin.
Lyrical, Thoughtful, and Hopeful
Melissa Tagg is an author friend of mine (we share the same literary agent) who I first met at a writer's conference a few years back. When she heard about my book and asked how she could help spread the word, I dropped an advance copy of Called in the mail to her. A week or so later, I was blown away by her response.
"CALLED is an experience in lyrical writing and thoughtful narrative. It has a wonderful pace about it, along with a heart and sincerity that constantly kept me turning pages. It’s hopeful, and I love that. CALLED is for fans of C.S. Lewis, yes, and those who enjoy memoirs. But I hope its audience expands far beyond those boundaries, because its takeaway is the game-changing kind."
And if you missed it, here's the interview I gave with Melissa where I share about the writers I appreciate most, the biggest challenge to writing Called, and what I'm working on next.
Death of Illusions, Beginning of
Erin's book is not only beautifully written and genuinely funny, it's also helpful for anyone wrestling with questions of how to belong, or where to even begin. I appreciated Erin's book so much that I've not only been recommending it to friends, I even quoted it in a sermon I gave for Ash Wednesday earlier this week.
Which is why I was so thrilled to read Erin's review of Called.
"Called: My Journey to C.S. Lewis’s House and Back Again is Ryan’s memoir of how he came to discover himself – and ultimately God – when the security of success, love, and belonging got ground into pieces. ... His story looks suspiciously like a man walking to his death, only it’s the death of illusions and the beginning of life resurrected."
You can read more of Erin's review over at her blog.
Thanks, Melissa, and thanks, Erin, for your very generous reviews.
I'd Love To Hear What You Think
If you've had a chance to read Called and wouldn't mind sharing your thoughts, you can always post a review on Amazon. I'd sure appreciate it.
Or you can drop me a note and let me know what you think of the book. Thanks to those of you who already have. It's been such a joy to hear from you.
Thanks for all your help spreading the word, friends. And a special thanks for not laughing at my nakedness.