Archive for December, 2009

Top Ten Reasons Why No Going Back Is a Great Read!

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Yeah, I’m still on Christmas break. But I couldn’t resist the temptation to post something. And so…

Getting comments from readers of my novel has given me a new appreciation of Tolkien’s observation that elements of his book that “are to some a blemish are all by others specially approved.” Despite this, it seems to me that there have been some common themes among those who like my book. The following list, then represents (in unranked order) my summary of some of the top reasons why I think  No Going Back is worth reading — based on reader responses to date, together with my own thinking. (Or — to put it another way — no one else seems to be beating down the door to list all the reasons why my novel is wonderful, so I need to do it myself.) Please feel free to read, respond, and (hopefully) add reasons of your own! (more…)

Christmas Break

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Heigh, ho. Christmas break coming up. I’m expecting traffic around here to be pretty slow, and I’ll be busy too, so you shouldn’t count on seeing anything interesting from now until after the first of the year.


How We (Don’t) Talk About Homosexuality in the Mormon Church

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

On Dec. 4, Rex Goode — a friend of mine from AML-List, who started the conversation years ago that ultimately led to No Going Back — posted a review/essay on his blog about my book and why he’d encouraged me to write it and then endorsed it after it came out. It’s a positive review, and some of the reasons he gives for endorsing the book have a lot in common with my reasons for writing it. And then, poking around his site, I found another essay titled Not Ashamed that I think may speak even more directly about ways that we Mormons need to change and how I hope my book might help that change.


One Sale at a Time

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Each week, I get a report from Chris Bigelow, my publisher, on how many copies have sold to date through our national distributor. Yesterday, the number was 49. Chris informed me that he’s also sold about 30-40 directly (including, I think, 12 copies for the BYU Bookstore). And I’ve sold a few myself, mostly to members of my ward, plus a couple to the local LDS bookstore in Oakdale, Minnesota. So it looks like we’re creeping up to that big one-double-zero! Yay rah, go team.

There are times when I feel like I’ve been personally involved in every sale so far. That seems very odd to me. I’ve never been adept at sales, and there’s some part of me that feels like it’s somehow not entirely proper for me as an author to be out there peddling my own books. A much bigger part asks, if I’m not going to peddle them, who will — and why should they care?


Looking Forward to Some Great Conversations About Mormon Literature

Friday, December 4th, 2009

I got word a few days ago that a new blog sponsored by the Association for Mormon Letters has now gone “live” over at I have to say, I’ve seen the lineup of authors for December (I’m down as a potential occasional contributor), and I’m excited. It looks really good — like the kinds of conversations we used to have once upon a time at AML-List, the email discussion list sponsored by the Association for Mormon Letters. (AML-List technically continues, but for a variety of reasons has fallen onto hard times.)