My First Book!

Oh, I like looking at that.

Oh, I like looking at that.

I can hardly believe it. I’ve been writing for decades. I’ve written short stories, academic papers, sermons, presentations, blog posts, a novel, and non-fiction memoirs and travelogues. I’ve been fortunate to have both academic articles and short stories published. But it’s been a waiting game to see whether a publisher would ever pick up one of the book-length manuscripts. Now it’s finally happened — a publisher said YES, and it wasn’t the manuscript I expected! But I’m SO happy that Novalis Press took a chance on Pairings: The Bible and Booze. One of the editors wrote: “I loved it! In fact I couldn’t put it down.”

Pairings will be out soon in Canada and the US, and will be coming out in French a few months later (translated by my friend Sabrina Di Matteo). It’s the first time I’ve signed a book contract. I even received the Press’s standard advance (completely unexpected for someone used to academic publishing). I admit it: it’s a thrill!

Not long ago they sent me some possible book covers. The one I picked (see above) is the choice the Press went with as well. It kind of looks like a Bible, doesn’t it? I love the retro feel, the woodcut approach. And the old-school Bible colour.

So what’s in the book? Here’s what my pitch said: “The manuscript represents the latest biblical studies research. Its commentary on popular biblical texts – arguing tongue-in-cheek for why they should be twinned with certain drinks – is a delicious “taster” for both. Pairings feels like an excellent dinner conversation shot through with a gentle sense of humour.” I added that “Pairings: The Bible and Booze turns our natural curiosity about dissimilar items and our thirst for the old truths into a lively and inspiring book about the Bible.”

See for yourself….here’s the Table of Contents! Each chapter offers up two tasty suggestions – one alcohol and one alcohol-free – to match a passage. Some biblical studies types, friends of mine, have seen the pairings. They often disagree with my choice of drinks…but that’s part of the fun! You may have other pairings to suggest too, once you start to read. I’d love to hear your suggestions.

I hope to hold a physical copy in my hands very soon. I can’t wait. Look for more news in the coming weeks!

24 replies on “My First Book!”

Well!! This is grand news indeed Matthew! I am looking forward to reading and drinking along, of course. You have peaked my interest with your creative mind. Congratulations Matthew. Be well.

Peace, Jennifer

This sounds fun Matthew. Must have you share this with a clergy gathering! Congratulations 🍾

Awesome, Matty, it looks fantastic and fun, and I know full well will be smart in amongst the fun! I’ll be ordering it soon as it’s available. Good excuse to try some fun drinks while learning 🙂 Felicitations!

Yaar Matthew. Congratulations. Great idea for a book and a strong cover. Your next could be Pairings, The Coran and Coffee…

haha! Or “Pairings: Tea and Torah” which I would know at least slightly more about….. Thanks. I like the cover too. Looking forward to the day when there’s original Aubé artwork on one of these.

congrats Teach! let me know once it’s out – Remember Eugenia? Curtis & her and I took one of your classes forever ago? Well I think she would totally appreciate this book& her bday is in August so you know you got one customer her for sure!

It’s so nice to hear from you, Cris! How are you doing? I hope you’re well and safe and thriving. Yes of course I remember Eugenia. That would be fun as a present. I think you’ll like the book too!

nice to hear from you too Teach! I’m alive and kicking 😛 & looking forward to the book. Not sure once its out how it can be purchased but if its through you – then please reserve 3 copies for me.

I intend to start a new book club with this one! I am very excited to read it. Welcome to the Novalis author family!

Hi Christine. Thanks, and how wonderful to be welcomed into the group by such an accomplished author! I wonder: I’ve been offering to drop in (by Zoom) for book clubs who extend an invitation; what’s been your experience with this kind of thing?

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