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Justin Lee on faith, culture, and nuance

Justin Lee on faith, culture, and nuance

From the Blog

5 super-awesome author moments.

As a first-time author, there are a few special moments that you never forget. They’re moments that feel surreal because you’ve always thought of them as things that only happen to big, important authors, and you don’t think of yourself that way. So when they happen to you, it’s like…


So far, I’ve had four such moments. I feel so privileged, because some authors never get to experience any of these:

1. The day you first get to hold an actual, physical copy of your book. This is becoming rarer as more books come out in electronic versions only. I’m especially lucky because I got to have a hardcover version of my book, which is, like, the coolest thing ever. Here’s video evidence of me being a complete dork the first time I got to see it.

This will forever rank as one of the most awesome days of my life.

2. Your first book signing. “Wait… you want my signature? Me?” My first signing was before the official release, at BookExpo America. I got to sign next to Jay Bakker, Shane Hipps, and Brian McLaren, who is one of the most gracious authors I’ve ever met. I wish I could be as friendly as he is.

Also, this video was so much fun to make.

3. Seeing your book on a shelf in an actual bookstore. I used to say that if I ever wrote a book, I would always want to go in every major bookstore I passed to see if they had my book in stock. Do I still do that? Yes. Yes I do.


(Hey, there it is, between Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer!)

4. Recording your own audiobook. Very few authors get the opportunity to record an audio version of their books. When my publisher asked me to, I was on cloud nine. And, I’m not gonna lie, every time someone tells me they listened to the audiobook and liked it better than the print version because of the emotion in my voice, well, that just makes my day a million times better.


And this week I added a fifth:

5. The first time your book gets translated into another language. My book is now available in Dutch! This. Is. Amazing. There’s now a version of my own book that I can’t read because I don’t speak the language. Do you know how amazing that is? (Hint: It’s pretty darn amazing.)

To commemorate the occasion, I made my first Vine of all the versions of my book.

Dorky, but kinda fun, right? Or maybe just dorky.

Actually, there’s one more cool author experience I should mention, because it transcends all the others: Hearing from all of you. Although I don’t always have time to respond, I do read the wonderful messages you all send me—on the blog, on social media, in private messages—and they mean so much. I wrote this book (and this blog) to make a difference, and every time I hear from someone that I’ve done that, it thrills me to the core.

So thank you. Thanks for your support, for your encouragement, and for letting me share this amazing journey with you. You all rock.

Even if I never write another book, this has been by far the most amazing author experience I could ever have imagined.

Newly expanded and revised for 2024!

Divided by faith and LGBTQ identity? Torn has an all-new edition with new chapters, new stories, and a new study guide to help heal the rifts.

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Learn about Justin’s book Talking Across the Divide, and download the free study guide!