Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Life Outside the Box: Renee Johnson, author of "Faithbook of Jesus"

Months and months ago I asked my friend Renee Johnson to send me a couple of thoughts to share about her book, Faithbook of Jesus, and months and months ago she sent me those thoughts and I somehow neglected to share them here! But now I have remembered.

Some things you should know about Renee: She claims to be an introvert (clearly a falsehood). She likes to harass me about how she lives in Oceanside with its superior climate and proximity to the ocean, and she has a red-nosed pit bull. She claims to be able to type 108 words a minute, but it has to be the word "a" 108 times if you ask me. She calls herself the Devotional Diva and she created the first-ever speakers bureau for 20-somethings.

Faithbook of Jesus: Connecting with Jesus DailyMe: What sets your book apart from other books?

Renee: I’m one of the only 20-somethings that was discovered & signed via Twitter who wrote a book for 20-somethings called “Faithbook of Jesus.” My generation has grown up with technology since birth. We know computers, social media, and google. We like clicking things. So I came up with a highly interactive devotional that connects people to Jesus daily FOR my generation. I also surveyed over 300+ people, ages 18-35, to match the day’s verse/devotional. Take that Facebook!

Me: How did your “outside the box” idea impact your creative process? Tell the story of how you produced this outside the box idea. Was it a struggle? Had others done it before you? Did you mess up along the way or was it smooth sailing from the moment you had the idea?

Renee: Because of the highly publicized success of being discovered on Twitter, my job at Outreach Events (working with the top, nationally-known Christian speakers and comedians) my book sold out before it even released. Oh, and it did help that every single Barnes and Noble nationwide picked it up for their Easter table.

Then the struggle hit. Bad. I couldn’t handle the writing demands, launching a new ministry/brand for 20-somethings AND working full time. So I quit my precious job at Outreach. I thought my career in ministry was over. I was so wrong! Only God knew that He had been setting me up for this moment for years. Now I am writing m second book on brokenness, something which I’ve always wanted to write about next. And because of my success, I didn’t have to force it. Is just happened. I praise God for this!!!

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