Joann Greig, author of A Short History of Heaven
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Joann began drafting the concepts for A Short History of Heaven while researching an academic paper as part of her Master's degree program. After discovering that it was garnering noticeable attention online and seeing positive reviews on social media, Joann realized that it would be interesting to rework the material and publish it for mass-market consumption.
Read what Joann had to say about her experience!
I first had my idea for a book when I was exploring the origins of concepts about heaven and how they've evolved in the Christian religion for my Master's program. I realized that turning this into an actual book was ambitious, but the idea was fascinating and once I got going, it was too late to stop!
I started by distilling the vast amount of information into digestible chunks and structuring the material. The main thing when writing a book is to have a plan. If you don't have that, then you may be working in the wrong direction. So once my plan was in place, I continued to forge ahead.
I knew I wanted to self-publish, so I reached out to Balboa Press, which got the book out a lot faster than I expected. Having the ALC along the way really made the process easy. I made good use of the editing and marketing advice and I'm really looking forward to the summer kickoff of my blog and author website.
The Book Launch Tool was valuable because it enabled me to set reasonable goals. You can also see the whole process laid out in front of you, which is very helpful. I recommend that writers take advantage of it. One of my biggest pieces of advice for other writers is to create daily or weekly writing goals and stick to them–even if you write for just 15 minutes a day. Your book is never going to seem perfect to you, so just complete the process. Over time, you'll have your product and the satisfaction of producing something.
Heaven has played a central, although often unacknowledged, role in Western culture. This book explores the origins of concepts about heaven and how these may be found in Christianity. Early writings from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, and Rome are explored, with elements of shamanism, as well as the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and gnostic texts. The nature of the soul, the soul's journey, and the role of morality are also considered. The book shows how age-old beliefs about life on earth and about heaven are important today. Activities are included to encourage readers to explore their own thoughts and feelings about heaven.
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