An Email I want to Share with You

Hi friends, in addition to it being the fast and furious holidays, the last month and half I’ve been swamped in my latest writing project: I’ve been finishing up the writing for a ten page magazine feature about refugees who resettle in Austin.  The project will also be displayed at a gallery exhibit in March. So, any hours I usually put toward blogging have been tabled as I finish the refugee project.  I’ll be sure to give you all the details about the magazine feature as well as the exhibit in a few weeks.
But now and again I get the chance to do some pubic speaking, (which I love) usually related to my book, Finding Home with the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Billy Graham.  Last weekend, I spoke at a church.  After the service, I met some people who bought my book.
Then this week I thought to myself, I need to post something on my blog.  And then yesterday (sometimes God moves fast!) I got an email from one of the people I’d met at the church where I spoken last weekend. I’m pasting her email here for you to read.  I hope you see yourself in it too. Peace to you today.
“Hi Jess!
I loved your testimony on Sunday and I just finished reading your book.
I wanted to tell you about my experience of God’s peace like you had that day in Scotland.
I’m the OBGyn you met Sunday and I told you I have the opposite of anxiety.  I’m somewhat competitive (understatement) overachiever etc.
To become a board certified Obgyn, I had to take an oral exam after my first 2 years of private practice. The examiners question you over 3 hours referring to patients on a case list but they can ask you anything. The exam is notoriously difficult. The examiners want to see how you act under pressure.
The first time I took it in 1999 I failed. Honestly it’s the only time in my life I failed anything. It hurt. And it was the most important thing of my career because if you don’t become board certified the insurance companies won’t accept you as a provider.
I had to wait an entire year to take it again and compile a completely new case list.  The pressure was really on while I was studying. You can only take the exam 3 times total and if you fail all 3 you are done. Back to the drawing board. No OBGYN board certification ever.
I prayed and prayed while I studied. I had felt God had lead me to that point and I needed His help to put me over the top and pass.
One night, about  3 days before the exam I was getting desperate. There was just so much information and how did I know what they would ask??!!??  That night, I dreamt I was in the garden of  Gethsemane.  Jesus was there with Peter and Luke. (Luke the physician) (Don’t know why Peter) they were talking but Jesus saw me, looked in my eyes and said, “I know you. I know you know me. Everything is going to be ok.”
I woke up with that indescribable peace. I know you know it. I don’t think many other people have experienced it.
I nailed the exam and I’m living out my mission for God daily now.  I would do anything to get that peace back again. !!!
Thanks for your testimony and your book. Hope to see you in church again soon.”

The Time Has Finally Come!

Hello friends, happy 2016!
I am so pleased to let you know that my little memoir, “Finding Home with the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Billy Graham” is now available for purchase online.

Here is how to purchase my book online:
1. If you are ordering my book, I prefer that you use the publisher’s website:
WestBow Press
Once at the bookstore page, just type in my name,
Jess Archer. You can buy either the hardback or soft copy.
2. You can also purchase my book from Amazon in both print form and ebooks.

Please note: If you contributed $100+ to my campaign, you will receive a free, signed copy of my book from me within the next two weeks. Look for it in the mail!

Once you have my book, (and hopefully enjoy reading it) I would love it if you continue to support me by any or all of these ways:
1. post a selfie on Facebook (Jess Archer) or Instagram  (jessarcheryes) of you holding my book. Add the link where people can buy it.
2. Email friends and family with a link to my website:
3. Tell your friends and family about my book.
4. Text friends and family a photo of the cover of my book with the tag: read this book!
5. If you write a blog, consider doing a review of my book in your next post.

Drop me a note any time! Love and blessings in 2016.
Love, Jess Archer

Drum roll, please… the Cover of my First Book!

On this first day of 2016, I am so pleased to reveal to you the cover of my first book, “Finding Home with the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Billy Graham.” Artist, Tara Deetscreek painted the image, and the design team at WestBow Press arranged the graphics. I am smitten with the results.
My little memoir will be available for purchase in a just a few weeks! Stay tuned. Thank you for cheering me on!!!FullSizeRender

I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends

“I get by with a little help from my friends.” I love The Beatles. (Clearly, I named my memoir in part because of their iconic music.) For the last two months, I have completely gotten by financially with a little help from you, my friends and family. As you know, I’ve been raising support to self-publish my book, Finding Home with The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Billy Graham.

My original financial goal was, $9,000. Through big and small donations, I have raised $4,515!

I am writing to some of you who have already contributed, and to some of you who have said you would still like to give a donation. I plan to end my fundraising campaign in the next two weeks. That is, by the end of August.  Jess’s Go Fund Me account

How I’ve applied your contributions

  • $3,149 for printing, editing, layout, design and consulting services to West Bow Press. In addition, when my book is launched this fee covers Google ads, Amazon ads and Barnes and Nobles “Preview” features.
  • $1,200 for copyright permission to use The Beatles lyrics in my book
  • $250 to the artist who painted the book cover design.

As you can see by the numbers, the money friends and family have contributed was essential to the cost of publishing my book in a timely and professional manner. In every way, God is in the details! B. Sterling and I are overwhelmed with gratitude for your help in making this dream come true for me.

When my book is printed and ready to be launched (December, most likely) in bookstores and online, I will need to do some small book tours and readings. This requires traveling expenses and reprints of my book for promotional purposes. If you would still like to contribute to these expenses I would be very grateful.

I will keep the Go Fund Me accound open till the end of August if you would still like to contribute.

I am so thrilled that soon I will be able to share my memoir with you.

Why I am Raising Money to Publish my Book

Fundraising. This is a term very foreign to me. Some people do this for a living. Philanthropic geniuses. They study psychological motivation and they study and sociological trends. Some people know exactly how to get a dollar of charity out of people. I don’t know much about that.

But I do know that for the first time in the entire 6 year process of writing my memoir, I need people. I need charity. B. Sterling and I are living on one income. When Iris was born, I deeply wanted the chance to be a stay-at-home-mom. So we tweaked the budget and B. Sterling took on extra gigs and opportunities to teach music lessons. Even still, our budget is real tight. There’s nothing sexy about my food pantry on one income. Bulk, off-brand cereal. Long, bland loaves of wheat bread. Big, heavy jars of peanut butter. And bananas. We keep Chiquita in business at 42 cents a pound.

So when it came time to publish my book with West Bow Press, B. Sterling and I looked at each other and said the same thing aloud, “Where are we going to get $9,000?” We have an emergency fund, but publishing my book isn’t exactly a family financial emergency. So we prayed about it. And we talked with other people who have published books. And fundraising from friends and family rose to the surface as our solution for the cost of publishing.

This is why I am using GoFundMe to raise money to publish my book. Some people have already contributed money to my campaign. I wish I could say eloquently how grateful this makes me. It’s somewhere in the realm of weepy + lushy. Like when you’ve had a bit too much wine on less than a full night of sleep. I end up wanting to cry on their shoulders and promise, “Oh my gosh, thank you! I’ll dedicate my next book to you!”

You get my sentiment? My heart swells at your kindness. At your belief in my creativity. At your hope for my future writing career. Nothing has said love to me lately in quite the same way.

Big Endorsement

Even as I wait and hope for other publishing offers, I work at being my own best champion for my book.  I’m discovering that I can’t expect anyone else to get excited about my writing if I don’t “cast my net wide” so to speak.
With this intention, I went after a big endorsement. I sent my manuscript to Billy Graham’s personal assistant of 30 years, David Bruce. He is a nationally recognized spokesperson for the Graham family, and he is on the board of directors for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  He is a discerning, wise man whom the Graham family has trusted for decades.   To claim his public approval of my work would be a big endorsement.
So it was an honor to receive an email from his last week praising my book. He called my writing, “refreshing and insightful” and said he’d be sincerely pleased to give his public endorsement of my memoir.  David Bruce’s public statement is as follows:

“In Finding Home with The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Billy Graham, Archer takes three cultural forces and braids them tenderly. The result is a charming, honest girl’s story of finding home through the icons of her childhood.”

An Excerpt from my Book

Because of our transitory lifestyle with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, I struggled as a child to curate a sense of “home.” I discovered along the way that everyone wants this sense of home in their lives.  Here’s a small excerpt from my book on that topic.

“What people wanted to ask me growing up the way I did was: Can you tell me what it means to have a home? They wanted to ask me, but they didn’t have the language for it, and I was only a child. They thought, How would she know? She’s just a young girl.

Instead, people asked me a standard set of questions: How many places have you lived? Which was your favorite place? Which was the worst place to live? But what they really wanted were answers for their own lives. When I said I didn’t really have a home, they shivered for themselves…displacement at the core of every heart. The haunting need to know a place is yours forever, but the deep fear that it isn’t. Because I didn’t have a permanent home, I wrestled better and harder than most adults with the need for one, and by the time I was a teenager I had burned through to an expanded definition.”

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