Two shiny, colorful, three-dimensional copies of Being Both arrived at my house this week. These Advance Reader Copies (ARCs), or galleys, have not been through the copy-editor, proofreader or indexer yet. They don’t yet have cloth covers, or dust jackets. But they are tangible proof that, after a decade of dreaming and advocating and writing, the book is about to be born. And as with any birth, I am excited, but also a tiny bit terrified: I need to think about breathing slowly and deeply.
In order to calm my nerves, I head over to my new author website, susankatzmiller.com, to read the responses to Being Both from early readers. I am deeply humbled by these words: “an inspiring and gorgeous testament to the power of love,” (Reza Aslan, author of No god but God), “it may help you live more courageously” (Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness), “a must read” (Sheila Gordon, President of the Interfaith Community), “engaging, comprehensive, nourishing” (Mary Heléne Rosenbaum, co-author of Celebrating Our Differences) and “a singular contribution to the future of religion in America” (Joanna Brooks, author of The Book of Mormon Girl). I am so grateful to these readers for their willingness to spend time thinking about Being Both.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank the wise advisors who read complete early versions of the manuscript, including Marika Partridge, Rabbi Harold White, Reverend Julia Jarvis and Reverend Ellen Jennings. And for support and fierce editing through the many earlier years of book gestation, I must thank my writing group, the Calliopes, including Colleen Cordes, Christine Intagliata, Robyn Jackson, Mandy Katz, Diane MacEachern, Susan Fishman Orlins and Karen Paul-Stern.
Starting on publication day (October 22 2013), I plan to spend much of the next year traveling and speaking, reading from the book and listening to your interfaith questions and stories. If you are interested in hosting an event, scheduling an interview, or reviewing the book, please contact publicist Travis Dagenais at Beacon Press, at firstname.lastname@example.org. After living for so long in this online interfaith community, I cannot wait to meet as many of you as possible, to continue our interfaith discussions in person, and to celebrate the birth of this book together.