I have such great news to share with you!
My first book is DONE! The release date will be August 1, 2017. What started out as a collection of concert stories for the boys has become a memoir of epic adventures pursuing my dream to meet Elton John in person! I’ll be sharing some excerpts with you through the blog over the next several weeks leading up to the release date.
The title is:
Building my Yellow Brick Road: Life Lessons from Pursuing a Dream
Since this is the first installment of blog posts about the book, I decided to answer the most FAQ –
“Why did you write a book?”
For years, my friends and family have encouraged me to put my stories in a book, particularly my most epic concert adventures. I started writing in 2014, jotting the stories down on paper as I remembered them. Initially, I wrote them down for my sons. They have lived through many of these stories, but I’m not sure how much they remember. As they got older, I wanted them to have something tangible to read when I was no longer around to tell the stories. However, throughout the past few years, the encouragement to write has grown stronger. I had no idea how to write a book even though I’d spent many years reading them. I thought I couldn’t write a book because I am not an author. My friend Matt Ham, who is a published author, told me, “You are not an author until you write something.” This made perfect sense to me. I suppose I just needed to hear it said aloud. And, yes, I needed that encouragement.
There is such a conflict in writing a book—how much or how little do I put in there? What do people want to read? Will they buy my book if I add this or not add that? Should I worry about that? After all, it is my story—everything should be included, right? But it’s such a dichotomy of opposites—the pursuit of my dream and how my faith, my belief that the very God I believe in was instrumental in everything that happened along this journey. How do I write a book that intertwines my conviction in the teachings of the Roman Catholic faith and my pursuit of meeting Elton John? Will people be offended? Will they boycott my book? Should I add in those parts of how God put certain people and circumstances into my life to allow me to get as far as I have in my pursuit?
I struggled with this when I first thought about writing the book and I thought about it while I wrote it. Even after I sent it to my editor, the nudging continued—did I include too much or too little? What happened if I ignore the nudging and I don’t include it? What should I do?
It’s a question I ignored for too long and ultimately, I received my answer while listening to the radio. My answer was in the song My Story, by Big Daddy Weave. The first time I heard that song, my mind went through the lyrics and these thoughts came to mind:
Through the years, I have maintained Hope that my dream is worth pursuing. My love for the pursuit of the dream taught me to never give up. This dream is not just my dream, it is a dream for everyone who dares to do so. I inspire and encourage others to pursue their dreams.
I have had protection and safety in all of my travels. The unexpected things that just happen to get me one step closer. I know Jesus was watching over me.
I firmly believe that this is a God-given dream, one I am meant to pursue as God has put the people in my life I need along the way. Debt stood in the way, so we met it head on and won victory over it.
This isn’t just a story of faith. It isn’t just a story about Elton John, and it isn’t just a story of my life. It is all those things and more woven together in the story of a journey. It’s a story written from my memory, with the help of friends, and it’s a story of a journey to find the bricks that created my own Yellow Brick Road.
I look forward to sharing more excerpts and the story of the process of writing the book. I typed the words and sentences into a document but without the help of professional editors and proofreaders, the book would not be what it is today. It’s more than just a collection of stories. It’s life lessons and actionable steps to inspire the reader to have the courage, determination, and encouragement to find out what your dream is and then pursue it without letting anything stand in your way.