Religion & Spirituality
011: At The Table With Andy Rogers
Andy Rogers, Acquisitions Editor, Zondervan of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, took a seat at our table, giving us insight about writers and editors. We had many favorite pieces of the conversation, especially when he shared how he had planned on being a musician; however, he was led to be a writer and editor.
Here are a few pieces of our conversation with Andy:
I am a husband and a dad, which is the center of my life.
I am an acquisitions editor in the publishing industry. I have been a part of the book industry for fourteen years now and I’ve worked in different roles.
I don’t have a lot of free time because I’m in the young kid stage. But. I love to write, which is part of the book, “Jot This Down.”
Writing is part therapy, and it’s part joy and hobby, and part work. I’m also a musician. My wife is a musician too. We play a lot at home, church, and with friends.
We have tried to make writing and creativity a part of their life. My son and I will write stories together one line at a time. The part I like is that it’s in his own writing. We have quite a collection now.
It’s valuable because it’s important to me and it’s teaching him creativity. It’s good to be creative. It’s very hard to make time for everything but if, we don’t do things like that we will end up on technology too much.
For me, it began with music. I was in garage bands and writing songs. I went to college and studied music. I was married right after college . . . I had this sense that music was not going to be life. It wasn’t just the practical realities of being a musician . . . We kinda knew that this was not where God was going to keep us . . . This was supposed to my life, what were we going to do now? . . . I was praying fervently and I was reading a bunch of literature that I did not get a chance to read when I was in college . . . John Steinbeck and Earnst Hemingway.
I remember praying: “What am I supposed to do?” . . . I looked at the books in my hands and knew this was the plan “B.” God used that part of my brain and creativity to write and edit books.
Now there’s no looking back.
It’s very easy not to feel like a real writer. I always encourage people . . . if, you write . . . even if, you write in journal. Is it for you . . . for other people . . . your family? There’s not a right answer.
I think most days I think of myself as an editor because I have to get up and go to work. But. I do think of myself as a writer.
Writers struggle calling themselves a writer.
Do they have a message in them that they have to tell? I fish around to find out if, it’s an article, a blog posts, or a book. It’s a judgement call.
TableThink wants to promote reading for every age as well as to know the other side of it. In the first chapter of your book, Jot That Down, Alison Hodges states a writer should have a “ridiculously achievable writing goal.”
“We have to have achievable goals in order to do it again.”
What type of story are you telling?
It happens to everybody. It hurts. Editors don’t enjoy sending rejection memos. We don’t want to crush anybody’s dreams.
Everyone gets rejected, even well established writers. You would be surprised . . . Creative work isn’t easy.
If, you write, you are a writer.
We appreciate all that Andy brings to the table–Joshua & Kerrie
A.L. Rogers is an award-winning writer who has published short fiction in Splickety Magazine, Catapult Magazine, on DailyScienceFiction.com and elsewhere. He is a co-founder of the semi-annual event for writers, the Jot Writers Conference (www.jotwritersconference.com). His nonfiction can be found in various places on the web. He’s a husband and a father. And most people call him Andy.
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