I wrote a book in the 4th grade. Technically, two because the first story didn’t fill all the blank pages Mrs. Eastman gave me. The tale of Sparky the Firedog paired with children’s poems felt like such a big, vulnerable undertaking that I did what many great authors do:
I took on the pen name of Renee’ Mctyre since I was nervous and also sure I’d be marrying Joey from New Kids on the Block someday (and learning to spell our last name correctly).
I remember finishing this book and wondering what authors who write books that are published on a wide scale feel like when they see their work in actual print.
“Someday, you could find out for yourself if you want. Just keep working,” Mrs. E told me.
I’m not sure she knew the power planting those words in me would have.
I moved schools after that school year and moved on with my fifth grade work as was expected, but the idea that I could share my words with the world continued to live in the back of my mind.
In fifth grade, Ms. Plomer pulled myself and a few other students aside to attend “Young Author Day” at Hope College. I arrived with a handwritten manuscript in hand, then spent the day learning about writing, storytelling, and the publishing process. I can’t even recall which author was there because my mind was too preoccupied with the idea of publishing a “real” book someday.
Now, nearly 32 years later, it’s finally happening. Thanks to seed planted and watered by teachers I found my voice. Thanks to the encouragement from many I was brave enough to use my real name. Thanks to my family and friends: I wrote a book that is being published.
Today, with an ever grateful heart and immense pride I am able to announce that my debut book, Sunday School Dropout, will be released on March 28, 2023.
I am excited, terrified, and proud of this book. I hope this message of struggling to live the faith you were raised in can help others to heal and grow. I know the process of writing this book and exploring my own faith has been an amazing experience for me. One of growth that never ends.
Thank you for your love, prayers, and support so far – I wouldn’t be here without you either. As pre-orders open, I hope you’ll be moved to order and read more from me.
As always, stay tuned here (or subscribe below!) for up to date info. This is the start of something big, I’m so glad you’re here to do this with me.