I began life as that stereotypical snot in the Christian family photo.
The scowl comes in useful now for my alter ego, Dr. Evil Book Editor. I never liked sandboxes (Get my hands dirty? For fun? No thanks). Actually, I worked hard to get out of most any box I was put in. My dad became an Evangelical pastor soon after this picture was taken, so I got lots of practice with boxes.
As a quiet, fairly neurotic kid, my solution was to escape into books.
Gratefuly, I also got a degree in English from Westmont College where I worked out some issues with Christianity and God. I realized my struggle wasn’t so much with God as with people telling me how to make him happy by staying inside the box. So I did what every aspiring writer does and I started writing about that. My career in Christian publishing came as a direct result of that journey–first rebelling, then slowly relaxing and learning to let it go, man. Unsurprisingly, most of my work today as a writing coach focuses on helping authors see where they’re still fighting (God, others, the book, themselves), and face those common barriers that hold us all back from that sweet nectar of success.
In a nutshell, in 2000, a wonderful friend helped me get my first job as an editor at Focus on the Family books, and for 5 years I trained in developing books for the Christian market. I also started representing the ministry at writers conferences, which was unwise on their part. Soon I grew interested in the bigger, for-profit sector so I chased a job down the road to WaterBrook Multnomah, the Christian imprint of Penguin Random House, and started acquiring nonfiction and memoirs for them. When they downsized in 2010, I was cut, but my wife and I felt led to make the leap to freelancing, and that’s where I’ve been ever since.
My daily work now consists of helping authors, agents, and editors prepare Christian books for traditional publishers. I’m interdenominational in that I believe the body of Christ is vast and discussion is good. When we write our honest struggles to love God and love others as ourselves, we help others discover hope, inspiration, and freedom in a deep way that only a book can ultimately provide. That’s my message, the fuel the Inspirer brings as I struggle to follow that invisible path through the woods each week at “Higher Purpose Writers.”
My primary interest is in those rare, timely ideas that could push important conversations forward. After 17 years, I’m convinced that our indwelling Spirit absolutely delights in breaking out of our boxes to finally show us who he is–stronger and bigger than we ever imagined. I think that’s something of his higher purpose as the writer of our lives.
I mostly work with contracted authors, but I’ll always work with a few newbies because I know if this snotty kid can figure it out, and get to work with so many great friends–maybe even change some lives in the process!–then anyone could be a lucky snot someday.
Mick lives with the three young women you see here, who have the rare spiritual gift of making life a wonderful, massive art project, beautifying his home office in Portland, Oregon.
Impress him by reading the books he recommends here.
For rates on coaching, consulting, or to request an evaluation, email: firstname.lastname@example.org