Sunday, September 30, 2012

Indy Authors Fair

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to be a part of the Indy Authors Fair ( at the Central Library (and what an awesome facility that is) downtown.  All told, there were some 40 authors in the Simon Reading Room showcasing a wide variety of books.  While I was chiefly there to stump for the Mainline, I also brought a few copies of my first book (on Prohibition) as well.....the title "Prohibition is here to stay" continues to generate smiles from those who take a look at the cover!

Over the course of afternoon, I talked to numerous visitors to our table.  Some where browsing, some were thinking ahead for their collections (several guests worked at central Indiana libraries and were looking for potential purchases), and some were prospective authors themselves who wanted to know about publishing a book.  It was fun to get to talk to all of them.  By far my favorite though, was the woman who is currently working on a book about the Christian Endeavor organization.  We chatted for a bit, and then she said "OK, I'll take a chance on you" and promptly purchased a copy! 

"I'll take a chance on you."  Are there truer words for an author/reader relationship than those?  Authors take a tremendous amount of responsibility on their shoulders when they write, but ultimately it comes down to trust.  Does our audience trust us enough, find our argument compelling enough, to pay to read what we have written?  An encounter such as this reminds me of that bond between author and reader.

There will be more to post in the coming weeks.  I have more speaking engagements lined up (and hope for others to come together), and as reviews come in, there will be a chance for me to respond -- since a good (and I don't out of hand mean just in the positive sense) review, I think, should prompt the author to think again about what they wrote.  The journey with this book it seems, is far from nearing its end!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Religious Studies Review!

The very first review (published just this week) from an academic journal comes from:

Stroup, J. (2012), Mainline Christianity: the Past and Future of America's Majority Faith. By Jason S. Lantzer . New York: New York University Press, 2012. Pp. ix + 188. Paper, $24.00. Religious Studies Review, 38: 186. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0922.2012.01630_4.x

I enjoyed the part when Prof. Stroup said "Lantzer goes beyond D. Kelley and D. Sehat, examining the shrinking importance of mainline denominations (Congregational/United Churches of Christ, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist, American Baptist, Disciples of Christ), proposing a “diversifying” revision of what mainline status implies now."  As well as "Of interest is the material on democracy as Christian decline (Catholic Rightists Kuehnelt-Leddihn and Molnar vindicated?), the section on H. Fosdick, and the discussion of J. Forman's coupling of “armed struggle” with demanding $3,000,000,000 (which episode the knowing reader will be tempted to take as only one of many indications of how thoroughly Protestantism has lost any clear sense of purpose)."

And while there is also plenty of critique in the short review, how can any author take issue with someone who makes suggestion for "The next edition"?