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.
Gratefully, I also got a degree in English from Westmont College where I worked out some issues with Christianity and God. It turned out my struggle wasn’t so much with God as with people telling me he wanted me to stay inside their boxes. So I did what aspiring writers do and started writing about my frustration with that. Curiously, my career in Christian publishing came as a direct result of that rebel journey–and slowly I found the friends and writing family to help me relax and forgive. Unsurprisingly, most of my work today as a writing coach focuses on helping authors see where they’re still frustrated (with God, with others, with their book, or themselves), and face the common barriers that keep us from savoring the sweetness of life.
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 spectacularly unwise on their part. But thanks to a controversial, doomed little novel called Catherine Wheels, I became very interested in WaterBrook Multnomah, the Christian imprint of Penguin Random House, and soon started acquiring and developing books there. And when the corporate downsizing came in 2010, Sheri and I were ready to make the leap to freelancing.
So since then, I’ve been coaching, teaching and editing stories for authors, agents, and editors with many Christian 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, it helps others discover hope, freedom, and permission to speak of deeper things only found in books. That’s my love, my fuel that the Inspirer brings as I fight to follow that invisible path through the woods each week at “Higher Purpose Writers.”
I love rare, timely ideas that push important conversations forward. I love thinking about being at this for nearly 20 years now, and I love knowing that the indwelling, incarnate Spirit absolutely delights in breaking out of our boxes to reveal who he is–bigger and more pervasive than we ever imagined. I firmly believe that’s been part of his higher purpose for me as the writer of my life.
I primarily work with contracted authors, but I’ll always work with a few newbies too, because I know if this snotty kid can do it, and get to work with so many great friends–and even find his own life in the process–then anyone can be a lucky snot someday.
Mick is a piano-player, a runner, and an INFP (of course) who lives with three young women with the rare spiritual gift of making life a wonderful, massive art project, beautifying his home office in Portland, Oregon.
Impress his socks off by reading the books he recommends here.
For rates on coaching, consulting, or to request an evaluation, email: firstname.lastname@example.org