I'm not sure what made me keep reading. Maybe it was that Chad, while cribbing from Don, was at least doing it well. Probably, though, it was this line:
"CBS, who broadcasts the tournament, refers to the Masters as 'A tradition like no other'. I think that is a bit of a stretch. The geriatric sex-cult scene at the end of The Da Vinci Code is what I would consider 'A tradition like no other'. The Masters is just another golf tournament."So I wrote Chad back and told him we'd like to run his piece. And then Chad sent another piece, about Alabama and American Idol, and that was good. And then he was writing for us, one of our first frequent contributors.
Even though, publicly, I love all our contributors equally, Chad is secretly one of my favorites. Maybe it's the fact he's funny, or loves football, or, like me, married a hot red-headed medical student. Mainly, though, I think it's that Chad is a lovable and nice guy.
After that second article, I showed Chad's writing to Don. "That guy needs to write a book," he said. So Chad started writing a book.
A year and a half ago, we sent out a proposal and samples to a variety of publishers. There wasn't much interest, which I couldn't figure out. But then one acquisitions editor, Andy Meisenheimer at Zondervan, hooked on. He loved the book, and pitched it to anyone he could.
But someone up the ladder just wasn't into it. The book was repeatedly turned down. This summer, after Andy mustered one last push, Chad's book was finally put down, like a rabid Ol' Yeller. Perhaps it was this line:
We're fairly sure it was that line.
The thing was, Andy couldn't pitch Chad, just his book. We got the sense the publishers saw Chad as some sort of provocateur seeking to undermine the righteous Christian bookstores of the land. That imagery could describe a number of Burnside contributors. But it doesn't describe Chad Gibbs, and one earful of Chad's slow, dumb, Alabaman drawl would've had them hooked.
Apparently, that's what happened, because one of those publishers finally called to talk to Chad, and today, 6 months after being rejected for the third time by the same publisher, Chad signed a book deal with Zondervan.
Congratulations, Chad. You deserve it.