We’re three weeks past the launch date for Act Normal. The initial jolt from the launch is over, and it should be pretty steady going forward.
I figured this would be a good time to review, especially since I was extra lazy and never even wrote a post for the actual launch date. (In my defense, I was busy drawing toilets in books, as requested.)
So, let’s go over some things I’ve learned lately:
1) I underestimated how many people would want to buy signed copies. When I put in my first order of books, I thought that box would last a couple of months. Nope. I just received my third shipment, and I think I’m OK for a while now.
2) Some people cried while reading. When you write something, you can hope to connect to some emotion in the reader, but you don’t know whether or not you’ve pulled it off until someone actually reads the thing. The constant question in my mind while I was working on this book was, “Am I getting this across? Are they going to feel it?” Well, some of them felt it. Maybe more than I meant them to feel it.
3) Some people laughed. I got the feeling some people weren’t quite sure if they were allowed to laugh since these are such serious and difficult topics. Yeah, it’s OK to laugh. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to feel all the feels.
4) My friends are freakin’ amazing. The support I’ve gotten from all corners of my social circle has been crazy. I’m used to doing everything on my own, without much support. I didn’t have to do this alone, and I’ve definitely noticed who’s been there for me through this.
5) Some people have to take a break while reading. (I encourage you to do that, if you need to.) I should have seen this coming. For me, this is just what happened. It’s my life. And I’ve had a lot of time to sit with these events. These events aren’t shocking to me. But some of these events are shocking and deeply upsetting to people who are reading about them for the first time. And I’m the a-hole who wrote this whole thing down in a way that’s very emotion-first, jump-in-my-skin-and-go-on-this-ride-with-me. It’s understandable that some people have a hard time with it. So far, I’ve heard from two main types of readers. One type gets engrossed and flies through. The other type gets to a point where they’re so upset or disturbed, they have to walk away from it for a while.
6) A lot of people want to thump Jackie. Most of the people who’ve contacted me have done so because they want to tell me how angry they are, not at Ray, but at Jackie. The main point I wanted to get across with this book is that people who aren’t actively being abusive still enable these abusive behaviors in various ways. While more than one person did that, Jackie has become the focus of that. I think a lot of us have run into Jackies in our churches, and some of that frustration is finding an outlet. (Please don’t actually thump a Jackie.)
7) None of this felt real until I got my first review from a stranger. Then I had this, “Holy crap! People are actually reading this!” moment. And then I cleaned my kitchen because that’s what I do when I’m freaking out. I got over it, which you’d know if you could see all the dishes in my sink right now.
8) I’ve had so much fun watching over people’s shoulders as they’ve read. A few people posted updates on Facebook or Twitter as they went. Again, it’s so great to know how people are reacting to different parts of the book. So far, people have picked up on different bits, and I’m going to tell myself that’s a positive thing.
9) Some people need time to process what they’ve read. I think that’s a positive thing too. Some people need time because they’ve gone through similar traumatic experiences. Some people need time because they’re evaluating the ways they’ve been complicit in the past. Some people had no idea these things actually happen, and they need to let that sink in. All are totally valid.
If you haven’t gotten a copy yet, you can order a signed copy from me or head over to Amazon for a paperback or Kindle edition. (Psst! Hey! You can read it for free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.)
If you’re interested in bulk orders, you can order 10+ at a discounted rate.
If you’ve read it, please click over to Amazon and give it a review. Reviews help new books get noticed, especially a new book from someone like me who doesn’t have a big platform to start from. If you think it’s a good book, tell your friends.
I’m not a Christian celebrity. I’m just a woman with a book that makes people want to thump a person . . . and it also encourages people to end sexualized violence. That too.