A new book is coming

In July of 2022 I signed a book contract with NavPress. It flickered through my mind back then to post one of those “author signs her contract” photos on Facebook, but being a person with a certain doomsday posture, I did not. Sitting at the table at our cottage, my eyes had instantly landed on the paragraph in the contract where the publisher reminds you they have the right to not publish the dumb, crappy book you submit instead of the great one you proposed. “Oh, brother,” Brent said.

So, obviously, I decided not to officially share until things were truly, unequivocally official.

I’m now convinced my book is real. I’ve done the work, work, work and then more good work with a wonderful editor, and I know it’s coming, and now you do too. It’s called Holiness Here: Searching for God in the Ordinary Events of Everyday Life. You can see it on the publisher’s page here. (You do see it, right? It’s not just me?)

Why in the world would I write a book about holiness? And who am I to dare? 

The question of holiness came to me one Sunday in church when Pastor Michelle prayed, “Give us grace God, to lead a holy life.” What does that mean for me? What does that mean for you, and for us, together? How is a holy life possible, when I’m such a bozo? Those were the questions that guided my reading, thinking, walking, agonizing, panicking, regretting, the occasional breakthrough and then my writing and revising. I think I’ve written a story-full contemplation of holiness for the rest of us.

I wrote at the cottage. I wrote at home. I wrote in the morning and in the early afternoon. I wrote in my mind while I walked, also in a project journal I can no longer find, and I wrote on the notes app on my phone. I know that I wrote while I slept because I woke up with complete sentences floating through my mind, and so I grabbed a pen.

I wrote happy. And then I wrote sad.

When Brent entered the hospital, I stopped. Weeks after Brent died, my agent gently called and told me if I could finish the manuscript by a certain date, the publisher could still keep to our original schedule. No pressure, just invitation.

I knew what Brent would have said.

So, a few times a week during a few months, I sat with my book in my room like it was a little camp fire. That’s what it felt like to me. A thing to build and stare at. I warmed my hands over it. Added sticks. Stirred and poked and kept it alive. Watched it grow.

I also reread every word I had written before and asked myself: Do I still believe this? Can I still say this? Do I still want to? I changed a few things, knowing what I know now, and knowing that I don’t know some of what I thought I knew, and that there is so much more to know that I simply do not.

There was a moment when I realized that Brent now knows fully, even as he is fully known. I can’t really explain it, but believing that made me feel safe with everything I don’t know yet. (This may sound too strange. Sorry!)

On April 9, a book filled with a lot of wondering and some knowing on the topic of holiness will make its way into the world with the smallest of ripples. I think it might be hard for me to do the work of promoting it, but I will try as I am able. (No author loves that part of it, even in the best of times. At least that’s what I think).

You can help, if you want, by pre-ordering it, if you’re interested, or buying it when it comes out. And if you like it, you can review it (or if you don’t like it you can review it too). You can help by talking about it and sharing about it, if you are comfortable with that.

You can email me and tell me about what you think, if you want. That is the part I love the most. It makes me feel that even though we are so different, we are also the same, and it reminds me that we are not — not a single one of us — ever truly alone.

10 thoughts on “A new book is coming”

  1. I can’t wait to read your book. I know it will encourage me to ask questions of myself that I will learn from.
    So very proud of you.

  2. Rachel Bloomquist

    Karen, How wonderful that you were given the courage to press on with this book. I so look forward to reading it!

  3. Hi Karen Stiller,

    I’ve pre-ordered your book and wait with bated breath.

    You are a wonderful writer, perhaps falling into the category of wonderful communicator.

    We think about you often.

  4. Beautifully said, Karen, and your words about feeling safe in the not knowing make perfect sense to me. I sense a “Well done, faithful daughter,” for completing this work. May it bless many (including me!).

  5. I’ll be ordering a book! I love your writing style! You keep things so real as you write. I think of you as being so brave to let us into your world….grief and all. Truly inspiring.

  6. Congratulations on your new book Karen and for persevering with it during a difficult year. I look forward to reading it and trust it will bless others as your last book did.

  7. Hello Karen,

    I so enjoyed your first book. Some of the ideas from that first book have stayed with me and I revisit them. And so I add my voice to the chorus of those who admire your writing and I look forward with anticipation to this one. Take good care.

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