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A View from the Back Pew

Tim’s Blog Tour



by Tim O'Donnell | June 8th, 2010

My upcoming book, A View from the Back Pew – God, Religion and Our Personal Quest for Truth is finished!   I’ve been told “now that the book is done, the work really begins” – I’m fired up and ready!


Advance copies are being sent out this week, hopefully to readers and reviewers who will give it rave reviews.  (One can hope.)  It’s not that I don’t trust the judgment of those who I’ve already shared the manuscript with, but to this point I’ve shared it mostly (but not entirely) with a circle of friends, acquaintances and friends of friends who have been very kind.  The praise likely feels somewhat obligatory or compulsory for readers who receive the manuscript directly from an author seeking affirmation than it will be for the people who make their living beating up on novice authors like me.

But, I’m ready to put the book out there for scrutiny. I think the team of designers and editors that were assembled to shape and polish my manuscript are second to none; I’m proud of what we’ve created, my confidence is increasing about sharing my message and enthusiasm from all parties involved is on the rise.

I’m excited to get the book on the bookstore shelves, online booksellers and the myriad of new technological options that readers have these days like Kindle, Nook, iPad and others.   Mostly, I’m excited for you to read it. You are where the proverbial rubber meets the road. Beyond the circle of supporters and past the critical reviews, I’ve written it for people just like me, people asking questions about God and religion and I look forward to your feedback even more than that of the critics and the book trade at large.

This being my first book, I’m learning more everyday about the world of publishing.  I spent my career hurriedly slapping ink on a daily sheet as a newspaper publisher so urgency was always one of the key elements in that kind of publishing.  Of course content was paramount but headlines and deadlines ruled the day – everyday.  It has been said that journalism is literature in a hurry, or that newspapers are the first draft of history.  Both very romantic ideals of course, and I thrived on the daily action but publishing a book, I’ve learned, is different in many ways.

Solid, compelling content is still paramount to be sure, but style, appearance and a certain ideal of artistic perfection takes precedence over speed.  I mean jeez, the book has been done now for quite some time and it still won’t see the light of day until this fall.  All very foreign to my background of publishing in a hurry; I’m from the school of write it, edit it and print it. (Sometimes: Write, print –  then edit.)

Somehow though, at my age, this new process of publishing seems appropriate.  I’m probably not as fast as I once was, and I’m definitely not always in a hurry anymore but hopefully, I’m a little more refined, a skosh more patient and a tad more cogent.  Like fine wine, I think this book has been aged just enough and is finally ready for tasting.  Come fall, let me know if you agree – what kind of taste this wine leaves on your palate.

The publication date for A View from the Back Pew is set for October 1, 2010.  I’ve got lots of things to learn and to do between now and the time the book hits the “streets” but now that the editing, shaping, rewriting and design is done I’ve also now got time to finally pay attention to this blog.  I’m excited about this too.

It’s been a while since I wrote and edited daily editorials so I’ve been anticipating my entry into the blogosphere for some time now.  Putting my two cents in is one of my best skills. (My opinion is rarely worth more than that.)

I’m ready to start publicly addressing what has been a private quest for much of my life, I’m ready to engage in dialogue and if necessary, debate and defend my positions about God, Religion and Our Personal Quest for Truth. My goal is to be a conversation starter or to contribute to an already ongoing dialogue started by someone else.   My hope is that you’ll join me with your contribution here through your participation in the conversation.

Lucky for me there currently is a lot of fodder in the news, the opinion columns and the blogs for me to jump right in.

Over the next few days I’m going make my “maiden posts”.  One on a recent news item about a Catholic priest who has made recent commentary about people who claim to be “spiritual but not religious” and another on a news story about the nun who was recently excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

I look forward to sharing my point of view and more to hearing yours.

Welcome to the Back Pew – this is going to be fun!

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The Book

Blog Posts

Below is a discussion about three separate issues related to the “Spiritual but Not Religious” conversation that seems to be forming today.  Joining me in the discussion is Pastor Bob Cornwall of Central Woodward Christian Church in Troy Michigan and Reverend Matt Appling of Levi’s House in Kansas City; the panel discussion is moderated by […]

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