You’re kidding, right?
Yes. Sorry. In actuality, my leap went the other way; I finishedPenguins about three months before starting
was released first; it came out in August of 2005,and
came waddling along about two months later—which, inthe glacial timeframe of book publishing, is, like, four seconds apart.Book-wise, they’re fraternal twins. Which is why they always fight.But, that’s just books. Whaddaya gonna do?
different than other spiritual books out there?
Well, it’s humongously funny, for one. (Um … is there any way tomake something seem
funny than to say it’s funny? Is there anyword in the English language more
than “humorist”?) And thebook’s also really quite dramatically short. And (save for theafterword) all of its text, from the cover flap copy to the dedicationand on, is written in the voice of God. And it very directly and verysuccinctly addresses the eight or nine reasons non-Christians typicallygive for why they’d rather have a thistle jammed up their nose thaneven consider becoming Christian. So: short; funny; voice of God;rationally and completely answers the huge, primary objections toChristianity. That’s the book.
Well, I was definitely confident that no publisher would say they’dseen a book like it before.
What did you learn about the publishing world/spiritual writingmarket in the process of having the book published?
Um … everything, I think.
had a long, weirdly intense pathto publication, so just through that process I learned a lot. It was firstrepresented to the CBA (Christian Bookseller’s Association) market bya Christian-market literary agent. He showed it to all the Christianpublishers, who all responded to it in the exact same way: “Fantasticbook! It’s got everything! It’s hilarious! We
it! It’s too secular.” Sothen I sent the book to Super Mainstream Market Agent, DeborahSchneider, who, miraculously enough, almost immediately agreed torepresent it. (“I have to,” she said. “My 15-year-old son Charlie lovesit.”) She showed it to her friends who run every publishing company in