In April of last year, I’d just released my novel These Were the Nights. Because I was hoping for more copies sold than I actually accomplished, I asked all of my followers on Twitter to do me a favor and read and review my book if they had a blog or what have you. Out of my estimated 1500 followers at the time, three individuals obliged me. Yeah…
Of the three, all were fairly glowing reviews of the work I had poured my soul into and this made me happy. But the third reader review I received just so happened to change my life.
I was sitting at a kitchen table in Florida when I happened check to Twitter (like I do every 20 minutes or so) and saw that a young lady named Cassi had @replied me to let me know she had posted a review of my book and would I be kind enough to read it. I’m always eager to hear feedback on my writing, so I quickly clicked the link Ms. Cassi provided and in doing so, a small part of me was changed.
Within this wonderfully written review, I found the manic flow of a real writer; someone who had a natural inclination toward the beautifully written word. In short, I found a kindred spirit. Throughout her piece, Cassi Clerget weaved a review of my book around the fingers of her opinions and then straightened it back out. Her writing was sharp and concise while still beautiful and raw. I loved it so very much.
For the rest of the day, I raved to my girlfriend about this new talent I had found (or more accurately, had found me). I felt like this young lady understood where I was coming from and what I was trying to accomplish with that book and the madness that lies within its pages. But most of all, she was a writer. A real one. Something that is all too rare in today’s world of blog posts and 140 character word spats. Cassi Clerget was a writer like me.
From there, Cassi and I built a tentative friendship based on a mutual love and respect for the words. I asked her opinion on articles I was writing and she asked the same of me. I recommended her to sites I freelance for, forever singing her praises as the kind of writer a site needs to have. But most importantly, I’ve read just about every word Cassi has written since April 2012. And every single time I do, I mutter madly to myself, “Yes, yes, yes. My God, this woman gets it. She understands what it means to fall in love with the words and for the words to so graciously return the favor.” Because of that, Cassi Clerget will forever have my respect as a writer, woman, and friend.
Fast forward to the present and rarely a day goes by that Cassi and I don’t speak in one form or the other. Our friendship has grown and flourished. What I used to see as a mentor/protege type relationship, I now see as an equal partnership. She’s one of my best friends and I know I can forever count on her to be there if I need her (hopefully, she knows the same about me).
And so, with all of that rambling in mind, I am very proud and happy to say that we–
Actually, Cassi, do you want to tell them?
We’re making a baby!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, you guys, Cory texted me not to long ago and asked if I thought it would be a good idea and I said yes! I can barely contain my excitement. There is so much planning to do, so much to work out, but we are thrilled to be taking this step together. It means so much to both of us.
Oh, and by “making a baby”, I mean “writing a book together.” Hope that wasn’t terribly confusing…
I just swallowed my tongue reading the word “baby” in reference to myself. So, thanks for that.
But yes, Cassi and I are working on a book together! We’ll be taking our gimmick of a The Virgin and the Vagrant (found here and here) and slapping it into book form. We’ll be covering a number of subjects that speak to our different places in life and the experiences we’ve had. Subjects like dating, love, faith, church, sexting, masturbation (yeah…) and a litany of others.
Hopefully, each of you will be able to take something from it that will either help you understand things more clearly or allow you to feel as though you are not alone in this world. Really, Cassi and I enjoy writing and we immensely enjoy writing together, so we’re super excited about this project.
I’m ecstatic, honestly. When Cory came up with idea to do the first The Virgin and The Vagrant post, I was all for it. Mostly because it was a chance to write about sex, but also because it gave me the chance to write with one of my favorite writers and best of friends. At the beginning of last year, I was toying with the idea of writing and maybe starting a blog, but I had no idea how to begin. And then my sister started reading me this random guy’s blog posts on To My Future Spouse. Immediately I was taken in. This man could write. He could take words and spin them into magic. It was an absolute pleasure to read his posts, because I knew with each word he understood irrevocably the beauty of the written word. He needed them just as I did. It was like watching a musician play a masterpiece, putting his entire heart and soul into it. Plus, he was rather hilarious. “I like this guy,” I thought to myself. “I think we could be friends.”
When Cory asked me to write a guest post for him last July, I couldn’t stop smiling. My favorite writer wanted me to write something for him. I sent him something I had been working on, and then spent the whole day in a state, because, dear God, what if it wasn’t good enough? But it was. And the second piece I wrote for him was even better, because he pushed me to be better. He believed in me when I didn’t always believe in myself. I can’t thank him enough for that. And somewhere along the way, I discovered that Cory Copeland was not only an inspiration to me as a writer, but a kindred spirit and dear friend. And possibly the only human being in the world more inappropriate than myself. (No small feat, as I’m sure he would tell you.)
So this book is completely us – our friendship and our writing for you to enjoy. It takes my experiences and his and weaves them together, hopefully with a few tasteful jokes and awkward moments as we tackle the sometimes difficult subjects. And I think we both hope you can find something of yourself in it.
Side note: this is the nicest and most complimentary Cassi and I have ever been to one another. Usually, we’re like super competitive siblings who can’t wait to try and best each other, whether it be with inappropriate text messages or correcting each other’s grammar on the Twitter.
Regardless, we hope once you read this book, you’ll understand just how much it means to us. We plan on pouring our heart and souls into this work and we know that you, the reader, will appreciate that as much as we do.
Yeah, this is the nicest we’ve ever been actually. Maybe we’re growing up and maturing…or just being nice so people don’t think we’re heathens. Wait, these people probably follow us on Twitter. They know we’re heathens. You poor souls.
But as snarky as we can be to each other, we both have a desire and need to share our story and our words. It’s what we were called to do. And the fact that I have the opportunity to write alongside my darling friend is just the icing on the cake. This book will be a joy to write, and we hope that you can enjoy reading it just as much.
If you find yourself with any questions for either of us, always feel free to email us or shoot us a tweet on Twitter (we’re both on there pretty much constantly). We both do our best to respond to every single message we get.
As for the book, we’re in the process of writing it now and are hoping for a release sometime in the late spring, early summer. I have my devotional We are not Hoodlums coming out soon (Cassi is the editor on that project, surprise surprise!) and we didn’t want the two works to overlap one another. We’ll do our best to keep you guys abreast (heh heh “breast” heh heh) of our progress and as always, we sincerely appreciate your support and love.