Didn’t this blog used to be called “How to Talk Evangelical?” Why did you change it?
Yes — I originally named my blog “How to Talk Evangelical” after the title of my Master’s Thesis — which went on to become my first published memoir, When We Were on Fire. When I began to write in this space, I spent a lot of time redefining the cliched terms and phrases that had been the language of my growing-up evangelical faith. It was a way for me to enter into an exploration of my faith baggage and to move toward healing. (You can see a glossary of many of the terms here.)
However, as I worked to redefine my faith in this way, I found myself healing in small ways. Eventually I found myself less concerned with the ways that my adolescent faith language had failed me…and more concerned with what sustainable faith actually looked like for me now. Though I certainly continue to deal with some of those terms, some of that baggage, this blog has evolved to include much more…and the title no longer seemed to fit like it once did.
Why do you call yourself a “recovering Jesus Freak”?
Whenever I talk about being a “recovering Jesus Freak,” there’s at least one person in the room who assumes that means that I’ve given up on my faith altogether. I haven’t. For me, being a “Jesus Freak” in the evangelical 1990s had a lot to do with performing, with trying to be extreme enough to make a difference for God. And this is what I’m working to recover from — not Jesus, but rather a faith that made me feel like I somehow had to earn the love of God. I am recovering from performance. Recovering into grace. (You can learn more about that here.)
Our book club is reading one of your books. Will you join us?
If possible, I’d love to be there! I live in the Minneapolis area and can sometimes make it work to join local groups. However, I’m also available via Skype or Google Hangout if you’d like me to “drop in” to your group and answer some questions!
Will you read/review/endorse my book?
I’ve been so grateful for people who have taken the time to read, review, and endorse my work, and I try to return the favor whenever I can. That said, my “To Read” pile is generally pretty full, and I can’t always say yes. Still, feel free to send me an email — addiezierman (at) gmail (dot) com — and tell me about your work! If it seems like a good fit for my readers, I’ll do what I can!
How did you get your agent/publisher/book deal?
S-L-O-W-L-Y and kind of painfully. Read about my “Journey to Publishing” here.
I’m starting a blog. Can you give me some advice?
Good for you! I don’t consider myself any kind of expert on blogging. To be honest, I’m kind of making this whole thing up as I go along, but here’s some of what I’ve learned along the way.
Can I submit a guest post to your blog?
I don’t take tons of guest posts, but I do feature other writers from time to time. Please make sure you’re familiar with the content and style of the blog before you submit a post. If it fits and if I think it’ll resonate with my readers, I’ll work with you to make it happen!