24.2.09

Some More Good News

I still remember the first article Chad Gibbs ever sent. It was about golf, and its writing was vaguely Blue Like Jazz-ish, which did not bode well because we get a lot of entries like that. To understate it a bit, most people cannot write like Don Miller.

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:
"...because laughing is not a sin, unless you are laughing during pre-marital sex."
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.

17 comments:

  1. Thanks Jordan. This would never have happened without you, Don, Aaron, Karen, Susan, and a dozens of other fine folks who have helped me so much along with way!

    Also thanks for making me very self conscious about my voice :-)

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  2. I would so read a book that has: "...because laughing is not a sin, unless you are laughing during pre-marital sex." in it.
    Does this mean I now get to?
    granted...if that line is cut, then the deal is off.

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  3. Congratulations, Chad. I look forward to reading it. And I laughed out loud at the premarital sex line, so even if they won't print it, well done.

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  4. I meant 'dumb' in the best possible way, Chad. And I wanted to make fun of the South.

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  5. congrats chad!
    and someone has to undermine christian bookstores.

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  6. What can I say about my friend Chad Gibbs? He’s lovable, that’s for sure. And for one, I’m not ashamed to say I would love to sleep with him. That’s a fact. -Not ashamed at all. You know, not in a sexual way or anything, (although no doubt that would have its rewards), but in more of a body-pillow way. I guess I’d just like to cuddle and lean into him more than anything. To nudge him and feel his warmth. I want to snore and drool on him at 3am. To have my legs draped akimbo over his. -Or maybe tucked in a tight fetal position over his abdomen like that Rolling Stone album cover with John and Yoko... -Because here’s the thing, he’d take it. He’s the kind of guy who can take that kind of love and make you feel good about yourself in the morning. He’s the kind of mate you can be lying with in a perfect position on the couch and then get up to get a drink or something and come back and settle right back in. -You know… it warms my heart just thinking about him sometimes. I’m not afraid to say that. Sometimes I’ve caught myself driving on the freeway and just sort of pull off the side of the road, close my eyes, and think about his face. His laugh. His stupid drawl… My family will say, “What the hell are you doing?” ‘Just give me 15,’ I’ll say. ‘Maybe 20…’

    No one deserves this more buddy.

    Love ya,
    aaron

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  7. And if Zondervan hadn't recanted it's offer already, I'm fairly sure Aaron's comment does the trick...

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  8. Go Chad. I know what it's like to have enough rejection slips to wallpaper your bathroom, which means I also know how good it feels to get a break. Not that you got lucky -- did I not very recently say your work warranted the death of trees?

    BTW, I've gotten "worse" lines into CBA books, but I'm pretty sure that's because nobody ever read them. Try slipping something in right before it gets to galleys.

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  9. couldn't be happier for you buddy!

    ok, that's a lie. if you had tricked zondervan into giving me a book deal as well, then i would have been happier for you. no, actually, then technically i would have been happier for me, but the same amount of happiness for you.

    so yeah, congrats! couldn't be happier for you! i cannot wait to read Chad Like Jazz.

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  10. What about this Andy Meisenheimer guy, he sounds like he deserves some congratulations as well.

    Aaron Donley, could you possibly write the afterword?

    Congratulations Chad.

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  11. Awesome! This site is awesome - exactly the type of blog I need to be subscribed to.

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  12. Thanks to everyone, you all get free, er, better make that slightly discounted copies.

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  13. Chad, I'm rooting for you. Can't wait to see the book!

    Rich
    BlogRodent

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  14. a little late to the party, but I'm still going to say it. Congrats, Chad! I can't wait to read it.

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